AMA ARTICLES (1928 AND 1942)
from The Journal of the AMA, May 5, 1928 (pages 1494-96)
...during the past two weeks the newspapers have recorded that Mr. Timken, of roller- bearing fame, was finanacing the construction of a"million dollar sanitarium" for the treatment of diabetes "by a new and deeply guarded method" in Cleveland, Ohio. The "method" is that of Dr. O.J. Cunningham of Kansas City, Missouri, who, according to the newspaper report, will conduct this million dollar affair. The newspaper reports stress the fact that the chief feature of the "sanitarium" is a huge steel tank sixty-four feet in diameter and five stories high. The new tank is in the form of a huge steel ball instead of a cylinder.
From what has been written the scientific status of the "tank treatment" is obvious: Dr. Cunningham claims unusual results in the treatment of such serious conditions as diabetes, syphilis, carcinoma and pernicious anemia, but has published no case reports or furnished the medical profession with any evidence to support the claims. To explain his alleged results, Dr. Cunningham advances a thesis that is altogether without scientific proof, namely, that diabetes mellitus, pernicous anemia and carcinoma are due to an anaerobic form of pathogenic bacteria. Under the circumstances, is it to be wondered at if the medical profession looks askance at the 'tank treatment' and intimates that it seems tinctured much more strongly with economics than with scientific medicine?" It is a mark of the scientist that he is ready to make available the evidence on which his claims are based. Dr. Cunningham has been given repeated opportunities to present such evidence.
from The Journal of the AMA, April 11, 1942 (page 1300)
At last the Cunningham tank is to serve some useful purpose. An Associated Press dispatch datelined Cleveland, March 31, states that this "giant shell ball. . . is being dismantled and its 1,000 tons of metal will go the mills as scrap." The tank here referred to was originally constructed some thirteen years ago by the late Dr. Orval J. Cunningham of Kansas City, Mo., for the purpose of instituting his preposterous pressure treatment for diabetes, pernicious anemia and carcinoma. The million dollars required to build it was supplied largely by the industrialist Timken, manufacturer of bearings. Why do people of great wealth who are unacquainted with scientific fact and apparently unwilling to consult scientific authority so frequently support strange notions in the filed of medical care? THE JOURNAL for May 5, 1928 carried a two and a half page report of all the details connected with the method of treatment. "To explain his alleged results," said THE JOURNAL, "Dr. Cunningham advances a thesis that is altogether without scientific proof." It added "Under the circumstances, is it to be wondered at if the medical profession looks askance at the 'tank treatment' and intimates that it seems tinctured much more strongly with economics than with scientific medicine?" Operated for several years on the unproved Cunningham thesis, it was noted in Time for Oct 8, 1934 thatJames Henry Rand Jr., chairman-president of Remington Rand (office equipment) had sufficient faith to entrust Mrs. Rand to Dr. Cunningham's aerotherapeutics. And their son James Henry Rand III, onetime University of Virginia medical student, had sufficient faith to understudy Dr. Cunningham for the past seven years. Last week young Mr. Rand bought Dr. Cunningham's sphere for $500,000, will henceforth operate it with the help of Dr. Carl William Iuler, 36, as the Ohio Institute of Oxygen Therapy.
Thus another industrial fortune was involved in this enterprise, which in the ensuing six years since its original construction has not accumulated the slightest bit of evidence of scientific worth. Fortunately, the armed services of the United Sates will be able to find better use for the metal than it seems to have served.
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