FACTORY HOSPITALS appeared in the 1880s to treat emergency cases from Cleveland's industrial areas, but only a few such hospitals were actually attached to a specific factory. These were always larger companies engaged in the manufacture of metal products, usually with a high accident rate and without any emergency medical services nearby. The American Steel & Wire Co. (see U.S. STEEL CORP.) for many years maintained such a facility in NEWBURGH. In 1884 St. Alexis Hospital was created to serve primarily the Cuyahoga Valley industrial area; a Dispensary & Accident Department was officially formed in 1887. With a similar purpose, St. Clair Hospital was chartered in 1891 to serve the industrial area between E. 26th and E. 45th, an area that by 1913 included 100 factories employing 50,000 workers. St. Clair had 30 beds in 1896, and 43 in 1920. It was supported by annual contributions, mostly from area corporations and manufacturers.
In the 1910s many of the larger factories began to incorporate infirmaries with either a full- or part-time medical staff. The reasons were partly humanitarian, but also cost-efficient to INDUSTRY: adequate health care reduced the number of days lost per year per worker due to accidents or sickness. By 1920 50% of industrial workers in Cleveland were receiving some sort of medical treatment in industrial plants. At that time there were 7 full-time and over 20 part-time physicians devoted exclusively to industrial medicine, many of whom were shared by more than 1 company. Industrial nursing also began to develop and eventually led to the founding of an Industrial Nurses' Club in Cleveland.
Cleveland Hospital Council. Cleveland Hospital and Health Survey, 1919-1920 (1920).