Steel Ball Sanatorium

Cleveland, Ohio once had a huge airtight, steel ball fitted out as a hospital.

More giant snow globes? Not exactly. This odd thing stood in Cleveland, Ohio and was known as the “Timken Tank” after the man who built it, a H.H. Timken.

In the building, “a huge airtight, steel ball fitted out as a hospital,” according to one of the few websites that has information on it, patients suffering from diabetes and other maladies were supposed to live under 30-pounds air pressure, “forced into the steel ball by powerful compressors.” In other words: a sanatorium.

Sadly this Space Age monument was lost. By the 1930s it had switched ownership several times until in 1941 the structure was bought by the Cleveland Catholic Diocese, which could not find a use for it. “The steel ball was dismantled and sold for scrap metal during World War II.”

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