Inside the Ruins of an Abandoned Electronics Factory: Victoreen Instrument Company

Victoreen Instrument Company once supplied equipment for the Manhattan Project. The former electronics factory is now a ruined shell awaiting the inevitable wrecking ball.

Abandoned Victoreen Instrument Company in Cleveland Ohio

A short drive from the incredible abandoned Newburgh Masonic Temple lies the the ruined headquarters of Victoreen Instrument Company.

Abandoned Victoreen Instrument Company in Cleveland Ohio

Built in 1925, the crumbling brick structure originally housed Clark Controller Company, which manufactured electrical controls for cranes, presses, mills, and other industrial machinery.

Abandoned Victoreen Instrument Company in Cleveland Ohio

When Clark Controller Company merged with A. O. Smith Corporation in 1965, the factory was sold to Victoreen Instrument Company.

Abandoned Victoreen Instrument Company in Cleveland Ohio

Victoreen has a long and complicated history dating back to 1928, when it was founded by John Austin Victoreen, a brilliant physicist, engineer, and inventor.

Abandoned Victoreen Instrument Company in Cleveland Ohio

The company specialized in the production of x-ray dosimeters and other devices that measured the intensity and dosage of X-ray exposure.

Abandoned Victoreen Instrument Company in Cleveland Ohio

In the early 1940s, Victoreen became a contractor for the United States military. The company developed portable devices that measured radiation exposure for use in the Manhattan Project and during Operation Peppermint. After World War II, Victoreen supplied equipment used during the nuclear tests on Bikini Atoll.

Abandoned Victoreen Instrument Company in Cleveland Ohio

The company saw many changes throughout the 1950s and 60s, including numerous acquisitions of, and mergers with, other electronics companies.

Abandoned Victoreen Instrument Company in Cleveland Ohio

In 1965, Victoreen Instrument Company moved its headquarters to the now-abandoned factory on Woodland Avenue. It occupied the space for nearly 30 years before relocating in 1994.

Abandoned Victoreen Instrument Company in Cleveland Ohio

In the years since Victoreen left, the property has changed hands several times.

Abandoned Victoreen Instrument Company in Cleveland Ohio

Abandoned Victoreen Instrument Company in Cleveland Ohio
An artifact from 2007

Abandoned Victoreen Instrument Company in Cleveland Ohio

Plans for demolition were approved in 2009.

Abandoned Victoreen Instrument Company in Cleveland Ohio

Portions of the structure were razed. Rubble and an outer wall mark where they once stood.

Abandoned Victoreen Instrument Company in Cleveland Ohio

Abandoned Victoreen Instrument Company in Cleveland Ohio

Demolition work ceased in 2014 after a fire broke out. The blaze was extinguished before it could spread throughout the building.

Abandoned Victoreen Instrument Company in Cleveland Ohio

Abandoned Victoreen Instrument Company in Cleveland Ohio

Quite a bit of furniture and other objects remain inside the old factory, but all the manufacturing equipment has been removed.

Abandoned Victoreen Instrument Company in Cleveland Ohio

Abandoned Victoreen Instrument Company in Cleveland Ohio

Many of the massive rooms are now empty except for rows of pillars and a layer of fallen ceiling tiles covering the floor.

Abandoned Victoreen Instrument Company in Cleveland Ohio

Abandoned Victoreen Instrument Company in Cleveland Ohio

Though demolition has been temporarily halted, it is likely that the remaining structure will be torn down before long. Until then, nature slowly creeps back in.

After exploring the ruins of Victoreen, I headed across town to visit the abandoned industrial complex of Warner & Swasey Company.

Abandoned Victoreen Instrument Company in Cleveland Ohio

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Abandoned Victoreen Instrument Company in Cleveland Ohio

34 comments :

  1. Another great article mate, thanks for letting us have a view to places we will probably never get to visit ourselves!!!

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  2. Always look forward to reading your articles David. Great adventures!

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  3. Another great glimpse of the past. Keep up the good work.

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  4. Thanks for the back story on this interesting and important piece of Cleveland's industrial history. I'm finding the more time I spend in the CLE the more it's clear the hit this cool old city has taken. It will take quite an effort to turn the city around.

    So after attempting and failing an explore of the Masonic Temple recently I found this post both amusing and exciting, and planned another trip to check it out. I had much better luck this time, thank you very much!

    I find I appreciate the work of others more after I've checked out these places myself and see my own photo results. So if I haven't told you lately, nice work! Between your visit and mine, a bit more of the building has been demolished and cleaned up. And like so many other sites, a new fence has been installed on one side of the complex--but the adjacent side is completely open. However, I would appreciate your giving me a heads-up about the feral cats, dogs, deer, and other critters that scattered and yapped at me when I made my way onto the property! You never know when you're going to run into nature's security force!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Greg! I'm glad you got to explore the Masonic Temple. It's a really interesting place.

      It's funny that they went through the trouble of putting up a fence, but left the other side totally open. I didn't run into any feral animals when I was there. I'm glad they didn't give you too much trouble!

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  5. Funny how rot can make for such cool pics.

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    Replies
    1. I couldn't agree more! Glad you like the pics.

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  6. Has there been any discussion about radioactive contamination? The manufactured equipment had to be calibrated which involved radioactive isotopes. Where were they stored in the building?

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  7. The city of Cleveland recently began demolishing the remaining portions of this old plant.

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  8. I lived right across the street from this building from July 1961 until august 1967. So sad to see it deteriorated so bad. Lots of history made within those walls. Harshaw Chemical on Harvard at Jennings Rd. Also had a hand in the Manhattan project.

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  9. Demolished. Rubble as I write this. I used to meet my then-boyfriend, who worked at Victoreen, for lunch. This was in the early 1970s. We went to the Woolworth's lunch counter on Buckeye Road. Woodland Av is a shadow of what I remember. And now the fucking "Opportunity" Corridor.

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