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Our History

Sterling® Steel Ball is a division of FRANTZ Manufacturing Company located in Sterling, Illinois.

FRANTZ Manufacturing Company was founded in 1909 as a manufacturer of general home and farm hardware, including sliding barn door track and hangers.  Through the years, this business evolved into garage door hardware manufacturing, and then the making of garage doors themselves.

In the 1920s, FRANTZ also produced a line of wooden toys that were sold in major department stores throughout the country.  Included was a line of roller skates branded “Hustler Speed King”.  The wheels for these roller skates were the springboard for the production of conveyor wheels (referred to today as skate wheels).  Conveyor wheels were first mass produced for the war effort, and then for use in the material handling industry.

Growth in the conveyor wheel business spawned the production of ball bearings for conveyor rollers, and FRANTZ became a major industry player in conveyor components for the material handling industry.

In 1947, FRANTZ established its Sterling® Steel Ball division to manufacture and supply steel balls for ball bearing and wheel production.  Sterling® Steel Ball has since become a major supplier of balls to the automotive, toy, cosmetic and paint industries.

Sterling® Steel Ball is proud to offer its, precision ground, seamless, solid steel beads to bead retailers across the country who look for alternatives to low-end, imported hollow round beads, and high-end precious metal round beads.  We proudly partner with quality plating suppliers in the USA to produce a variety of durable, attractive and lead free finish options.

Sterling® Steel Ball provides beautiful, yet affordable solid steel beads that are made in America and will last a lifetime in your customer’s artistic creations.

Check us out on Wikipedia!

Frantz Manufacturing Company 

Sterling Steel Ball