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Time Traveller: This giant steel ball was used to bash down trees

The 4,100 kilogram behemoth was used to knock down acres of forest to make way for the Cleveland Dam project in North Vancouver
NVMA 7417

You think it will be big enough? Pictured here on May 20, 1952, this giant steel ball was used in the construction of Cleveland Dam, clearing the trees around the future Capilano reservoir.

Built out of 0.75-inch-thick sheet steel with a diameter of 7.5 feet and weighing a staggering 4.5 tons or 4,100 kilograms, the ball had no problem toppling acres of forest in minutes. Most of the old growth had been logged in the decades before, and the trees were much smaller second growth.

The ball would see more use up in Kitimat helping clear land for the construction of the Kenney Dam.

Visit the MONOVA website for more information about the history of the North Shore and to plan your visit to MONOVA: Museum of North Vancouver, now open at 115 West Esplanade in The Shipyards.

Currently, MONOVA: Archives of North Vancouver, at 3203 Institute Road in Lynn Valley, is open by appointment only. Contact: [email protected]

Navigate culture on the North Shore by using the North Shore Culture Compass.