John Gorrie: Physician, Scientist,
By H. MARSHALL TAYLOR, M.D., F.A.C.S.,
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Reprinted from the Southern Medical journal, Journal of the Southern
Medical Association, Volume 28, Number 12 (December 1935)
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THE SOUTHERN MEDICAL JOURNAL
Journal of the Southern Medical Association
Volume 28 December 1935 Number 12
JOHN GORRIE: PHYSICIAN, SCIENTIST,
By H. MARSHALL TAYLOR, M.D., F.A.C.S.,
Observing her Fourth of July this year, France
resounded to the tramp of a million marEh-
ing feet. When with thirty thousand rifles and
twenty cannons stolen from the Invalides, a
French mob tore down the Bastille prison a
century and a half ago and French statesmen
decided that France wanted no more kings, they
planted a milestone for democracy on which
stands the present powerful French republic.
Six decades later, on Bastille Day in the year
1850, a loyal son of France in far-away America
entertained in celebration of the holiday which
commemorates this revolutionary act. Even
more significant in relation to human welfare
than the storming of the Bastille and the subse-
quent advancement of democracy was the for-
ward march of progress, demonstrated in part
that day at the dinner of Monsieur Rosan, cotton
buyer and French Consul at the Port of Apa-
lachicola, in Florida. A milestone for human
betterment, one of the most beneficent yet
planted along civilization's highroad, was on
that occasion the gift of an obscure physician to
an unappreciative world.
In the thriving little seaport of Apalachicola
the supply of stored ice was already exhausted.
Impatiently under the burning rays of the mid-
summer sun thirsty citizens scanned the glitter-
ing waters of the Gulf of Mexico, hoping to sight
a sailing vessel from distant New England,
which now and again brought ice, a luxury not
to be spurned at from fifty cents to a dollar a
pound. Eagerly groups of watchers on the wa-
terfront scanned the horizon on this July four-
teenth, for the whole town knew that Monsieur
Rosan was giving a patriotic dinner at the Man-
sion House, Florida's famed antebellum hos-
telry. And had he not wagered a whole basket
of champagne that ice would cool the wines that
*President's Address, Southern Medical Association, Twenty-
Ninth Annual Meeting, St. Louis, Missouri, November 19-22,
are ever a gastronomic essential to the French-
man? Indeed, for days there had been much
badinage and much betting, so keen was the in-
terest among the invited guests and their friends,
for there was a sporting chance that the ice boat
from Portland might arrive in time. Odds were
about two to one, but Monsieur Rosan smilingly
covered all wagers.
Fellow cotton buyers from New York and
New England, others from Georgia and Florida,
joined the jovial French consul in honoring his
native land. In the company of guests were
two physicians of Apalachicola, Dr. John Gorrie,
the guest of honor, and his intimate friend, Dr.
A. W. Chapman, the South's distinguished bot-
anist. Dr. Gorrie offered the first toast.
"To our sister republic! My friends, we
drink to France in warm, red wine!" And so
Then Dr. Chapman, lifting high his glass, pro-
posed a second toast.
"Now, our own country we toast in sparkling
cold champagne, chilled by the genius of an
Springing to his feet, their host exclaimed:
"We commemorate the day when France be-
gan giving her people what they want. Gentle-
men, if you, my guests, want ice, you shall have
it, even though your fellow countryman and our
honored guest worked a miracle to produce it."
As he spoke, from each of the four corners of
the spacious dining room a waiter advanced
bearing high a silver salver on which rested a
cube of ice. When a French monk, a century
and a half before, discovered that by stoppering
up with cork some bottles of partially fermented
wine, he had created the aristocrat of drinks, he
was doubtless no more surprised than were the
guests of Monsieur Rosan when they discovered
that ice made by one of their number had chilled
the champagne in which they forthwith drank
to the health of John Gorrie, Inventor. The
sparkling wine, its vivacity enhanced by cooling
with the manufactured ice, readily promoted
the conviviality of the astonished group.
After dinner, Dr. Gorrie demonstrated his in-
vention. Assisted by Monsieur Rosan, he ex-
plained the intricacies of his ice-making machine
to the other guests. Dr. Chapman then told
how his colleague had confided to him but a few
weeks before the success of his experiment, con-
ducted secretly for ten years.
Detecting a gleam of excitement beneath his
usual reserve as Dr. Gorrie joined him behind
SOUTHERN MEDICAL JOURNAL
the prescription counter in his drug store one
warm June day, Dr. Chapman had inquired:
"Have you found a way to freeze all of your
With a glimmer of his infrequent smile, Dr.
Gorrie had replied:
"Not exactly." Then, quietly, "I have made
"The hell you have!"
"No," in quick response. "This has nothing
to do with hell. But with continued success, I
may even lower the temperature of that torrid
At the Mansion House after the demonstra-
tion, a goodly sum of money changed hands. It
appeared that a new industry was under way.
Radiantly happy in that expectation, Dr. Gorrie
was perhaps never more handsome than he was
that day when he gave to the world his inven-
tion, unaware of the bitter disappointment and
failure just ahead, which were soon to have a
part in crushing out his life. Elegantly attired,
his velvet trousers, embroidered waistcoat and
coat with its ruffled lace cuffs reflecting the sar-
torial perfection of the Parisian shop from which
they came, he graciously received the congratu-
lations of his friends. He was of medium
height, stockily built, with a rather large head
crowning a stout frame. His sallow complexion,
dark hair and keen black eyes, as well as his
innate grace and refinement of manner, bespoke
the aristocratic, perhaps even royal, Spanish an-
cestry which was doubtless his. A sadness, pre-
cluding laughter, shadowed his countenance and
left him seldom with a smile.
No records exist of the early life of Dr. Gor-
rie. Unfortunately, his entire library, including
his manuscripts, drawings and the working model
of his ice machine, was destroyed following the
evacuation of Apalachicola during the War Be-
tween the States. He was reared in Charleston,
South Carolina, where, it is generally agreed, he
was born on October 3, 1803. He lived there in
affluence with his beautiful and accomplished
Spanish mother, who saw that he had the advan-
tages of the best schools of the day. He was
ever partial to her native Spain and spoke the
Spanish language fluently. His daughter, how-
ever, long years after his death, said that he was
of Scotch-Irish descent. He received his medi-
cal training in New York and graduated there
from the College of Physicians and Surgeons.
The renowned botanist, Dr. Asa Gray, of Har-
vard University, was in the winter of 1833 as-
sisting in the chemical department of the College
Dr. John Gorrie.
and distinctly recalled Dr. Gorrie as a promi-
nent member of the class of that year. Pre-
sumably, he was at that time doing postgraduate
Nearly half a century after Dr. Gorrie's death,
Dr. Chapman, himself a nonagenarian, in rem-
iniscent mood revealed disclosures made in con-
fidence to him by his friend not long before he
died. From memories perhaps clouded by the
lapse of time he pieced together the romantic
story of the unrecorded early life of Dr. Gorrie.
Coming from the island of St. Nevis in the West
Indies, where he was born, the infant Gorrie
arrived in Charleston with his mother on his
first birthday, the day that he preferred to name
as the date of his birth. They were accompanied
by Captain Gorrie, a middle-aged Scottish offi-
cer of the Spanish army, who had escorted his
mother on her flight from Spain to St. Nevis.
When his charges were comfortably settled and
sumptuously provided for, the Scotsman in the
Spanish uniform sailed away, never to return.
Remittances came regularly from Spain through
the years, and young Gorrie was given every
cultural advantage. At length came an up-
heaval in Spain; the remittances stopped. The
young man set about supporting his mother, but
SOUTHERN MEDICAL JOURNAL
she, crushed by misfortune, languished and soon
died. Sealed forever upon her lips was the story
of what her son believed to be a royal love con-
secrating his birth.
Whatever the unwritten history of his early
years, after his mother's death, his medical edu-
cation completed, Dr. Gorrie left Charleston and
located for a time in Abbeville, South Carolina.
There he was closely associated with the family
of the great Calhoun and drank in those princi-
ples of democracy which the elder Calhoun
transmitted to his brilliant son.
Traveling over the South, he came in 1833 to
Apalachicola, which was flourishing at the time
as the third largest cotton market on the Gulf
Coast. Fully twenty-five steamers were plying
the Chattahoochee, Flint and Apalachicola Riv-
ers, bringing the cotton of western Georgia and
eastern Alabama to this convenient seaport.
Seeing in the thriving frontier town opportunity
for advancement in his chosen profession, the
young doctor located there. He made friends
rapidly and was soon as popular socially as he
was successful professionally. Between 1835 and
1839, while he was still in his middle thirties,
he served first as a member and then as chair-
man of the city council, as treasurer of the city,
postmaster and mayor. He had a part in estab-
lishing a Masonic lodge of which he was the
first secretary, and he was a vestryman in the
Episcopal Church which he helped to build and
which still stands.
In May, 1838, Dr. Gorrie married Mrs. Caro-
line F. Beeman, of Apalachicola. John, Jr., the
elder of their two children, became a brilliant
young lawyer. He died in 1866, soon after re-
turning from service in the Southern army in
the War Between the States. Sarah, the daugh-
ter, widowed during the War, later married
again and made her home in Milton, Florida,
where a daughter now survives her. After his
retirement from public office in January, 1839,
Dr. Gorrie lived more and more within the com-
parative seclusion of the family circle, devoting
himself to writing and research until his death
on June 16, 1855.
During his years of service in public office,
Dr. Go-rrie was also president of the Citizens'
Association of Apalachicola and in that capacity
delivered numerous addresses and wrote articles
on the sanitary and commercial welfare of the
city. The first of these to be published was a
letter to the directors of the Apalachicola Land
Company, written at their request under date of
April 16, 1836. In it he not only remarked
upon the strategic location and growing impor-
tance of the place, but also presented profes-
sional observations pertaining to the climate in
its relation to public health and advocated sani-
tary measures which mark him as a pioneer in
public health work in Florida and in the South.
His experience in private practice and his offi-
cial connection with both the city and the United
States Marine hospitals soon convinced him that
the ,greatest drawback to the development of
the city was the prevalence of fevers in summer.
Such recognition as has been given Dr. Gorrie
was accorded because of his invention of an ice-
making machine. As a matter of fact, this
achievement was merely incidental and second-
ary to the primary objective which lured him
more and more from the routine of general prac-
tice to the fascinating field of research. He la-
bored unceasingly in his study of yellow fever,
malaria and the associated fevers which were
taking such a heavy toll of life annually that
they threatened the successful development of
the section of the Gulf Coast adjacent to Apa-
lachicola. These sub-tropical fevers created a
major problem, for the practitioner of that day,
the study of which led the city's leading physi-
cian to develop a unique method of treatment.
When Dr. Chapman jestingly asked Dr. Gorrie
if he had at last found a way to freeze all of his
patients, his was not altogether an idle ques-
Dr. Gorrie became the father of modern air-
conditioning when he conceived the idea of con-
ditioning the air both as a therapeutic and as
a preventive measure in the control of fevers.
So advanced were his ideas about cooling the air
in sick rooms and hospitals for patients with
fever that when he wrote a series of eleven arti-
cles for the Apalachicola Commercial Advertiser
in 1844 on "The Prevention of Malarial Dis-
eases" he was obliged to use the nom de plume
of "Jenner" lest he be branded as a quack or,
at best, merely an impractical dreamer. Com-
menting editorially on June 15, 1844, on his
claim that he had manufactured artificial ice
in the South in the summer time and that it
could be manufactured at any time and in any
place by his method, the Advertiser wisely de-
clared: "The discovery and the invention of
our correspondent, if true, are calculated to alter
and extend the face of civilization." Less wisely,
at a later time, a New York daily commented:
"There is a crank down in Apalachicola, Florida,
a Dr. John Gorrie, who claims that he can make
ice as good as God Almighty!"
For The Lancet he wrote a series of articles on
"Equilibrium of Temperature as a Cure of Pul-
SOUTHERN MEDICAL JOURNAL
monary Consumption." When Dr. Chapman
became a resident of Apalachicola in 1846, he
found Dr. Gorrie had concluded that "in pul-
monary consumption the disease might be modi-
fied and perhaps arrested by confining the pa-
tient to a uniform temperature." This feat, Dr.
Chapman explained, could easily be accomplished
in winter, but in summer refrigeration would be
required, and to meet this necessity Dr. Gorrie
engaged in the long series of experiments which
resulted finally in the production of ice by a
method commercially practicable.
Although he apparently made ice as early as
1844, it was not until 1850 that Dr. Gorrie com-
pleted the first practical working model of his
machine with which he produced blocks of ice
little larger than ordinary building bricks, but
in which he saw a means of controlling fevers
by conditioning the air of sick rooms in the South
during the heated term. Soon after the public
demonstration at Monsieur Rosan's dinner, he
applied for a patent. The records of the United
States Patent Office show that on May 6, 1851,
he was granted letters patent No. 8080 for a
period of fourteen years on a machine for the
manufacture of artificial ice based on a process
which was the precursor of the compressed-air
ice-making machine used almost universally half
a century later. His machine, consisting prima-
rily of a pump which increased the pressure of
air in a chamber, operated upon the principle
that gases, when permitted to expand rapidly,
absorb heat from substances about them. A
container within the air chamber held the water
which was frozen when gas was allowed to ex-
pand quickly. Singularly enough, getting the
ice out of the container became a puzzling prob-
lem to the inventor. He devised a churn-shaped
vessel, larger at one end than the other, thinking
the ice would readily slip out of the larger end.
He even tried greasing the container, but the
simple expedient of immersing it in warm water
did not occur to him. The original model of his
machine was placed in the Smithsonian Institu-
Pledging all that he possessed to secure capi-
tal for commercializing his invention, he sought
additional funds, first in New Orleans and then
in the East. The New York and New England
newspapers so ridiculed his machine and decried
its utility that he was unable to secure adequate
financial backing. The Boston financier who
at length agreed to furnish the necessary funds
in return for a half interest in the undertaking,
died before the project could be developed. De-
jected, brooding over failure, stung by the ridi-
Original model of Dr. Gorrie's ice machine
cule of the world he sought to serve, he returned
to Apalachicola. Broken in spirit, he was soon
broken in body and died, some say, of a broken
heart, thwarted in the development of his contri-
bution to the science of mechanical refrigeration
and unaware that he had planted the first mile-
stone in the science of air-conditioning for a
world that spurned his gifts because he lived
three-quarters of a century too soon.
Pack mules of the old Roman Empire and
camel caravans in the Far East long ago bore
compressed snow from the mountains to cool
the wine for voluptuous pagan banquets. Cen-
turies later, scientists labored to devise chemical
means for producing ice to cool wines in sum-
mer. The first major role of manufactured ice
was as an adjunct of the brewery. But for a
country doctor's efforts to alleviate human suf-
fering, man's eternal thirst might have been the
only impelling motive behind the initial research
which has resulted in the great refrigerating in-
dustries of today. Dr. Gorrie deserves great
credit for having originated and designed refrig-
erating machinery operated on the compressed
air principle which was later developed into the
cold or "dense" air machine. He is conspicuous
as the first to have received an American patent
for a machine to manufacture ice, and although
he sacrificed his whole personal fortune without
ever receiving a penny's remuneration, his
method was the first to have practical commer-
cial value. Intent upon his humanitarian pur-
SOUTHERN MEDICAL JOURNAL
pose of controlling temperature as a therapeutic
measure in treating fevers, he nevertheless proph-
esied the use of mechanical refrigeration in the
preservation of perishable foods, a development
which has indeed 'altered and extended the face
of civilization,' as the Commercial Advertiser
predicted back in 1844.
Returning to France some two years after his
Bastille Day dinner, Monsieur Rosan was after-
ward associated in Paris with Edmond Carre, the
scientist who sought to produce the carafes
frappes, the familiar water bottles of Parisian
cafes with ice frozen inside, which provide a cold
chaser for wine. In 1858, three years after Dr.
Gorrie had died, Carre produced an ice-making
machine which was heralded as the first to be
commercially feasible, but Dr. Gorrie's similar
invention takes precedence by a number of years
and may in reality have been the inspiration for
Although recognized and revered as a pioneer
in mechanical refrigeration, Dr. Gorrie has not
been accorded the priority he deserves as the
first of the pioneers in air-conditioning, an in-
dustry yet in its infancy which bids fair to out-
strip mechanical refrigeration in 'altering and
extending the face .of civilization.' To this dis-
tinction he is pre-eminently entitled, for he was,
in truth, the father of modern air-conditioning.
In a current magazine one reads that this rising
industry was born in a factory, educated in the-
aters and now stands at the threshold of the
American home. As a matter of fact, this great
new commercial enterprise, which potentially en-
circles the globe in its beneficent effect, was
born in the makeshift laboratory of this ingenious
general practitioner in a small far Southern sea-
port, nearly a century ago.
True enough, Willis H. Carrier, generally rec-
ognized as the father of this industry, installed
the first practicable air-conditioning system in a
lithographic plant in New York in 1903. His
difficulty lay not in selling the idea, but rather
in collecting a body of data to make the system
function effectively. Soon industry was finding
air-conditioning dependable. Its controls were
set to keep humidity out of the air of other litho-
graphic plants, for air moisture stretches paper
sheets and makes accurate printing impossible.
It was before long absorbing the enormous heat
load generated by the intricate machines of spin-
ning mills, making it no longer necessary to open
windows even in zero weather. It made its first
bid for popular approval in theaters and other
places of entertainment, where discomfort is dis-
tinctly unprofitable, and the general public has
now awakened to the possibility of the comfort
it affords in the home.
Today, the essential parts of air-conditioning
installation, the fans that move the air, the fil-
ters that clean it, the means of humidification
and heating, the compressors and coils that cool
and dehumidify, all are familiar to everyone in
warm air heating plants, in mechanical refrig-
erators and in ordinary ventilating systems.
Even silica gel, the new-sounding air-condition-
ing element which is a sandy substance used to
extract moisture from the air, has for a number
of years been used as a medicinal corrective for
excessive drinking. Capital has not been lack-
ing for the development of an industry that
promises to revolutionize the building trade.
Even in adapting air-conditioning to residential
usage, the problem merely remains to correlate
the various factors and put them together in a
form not too expensive to install nor unduly
costly to operate. Yet Dr. Gorrie, after making
possible a means of supplying mechanical refrig-
eration, for the lack of a few dollars was
thwarted in his plan of developing a system of
air-conditioning which he conceived, not as an
industrial enterprise, not as a lure to theatrical
entertainment, not even as an aid to residential
comfort, but rather as a curative measure in dis-
ease, a preventive of decimating fevers, a means
of controlling temperature in the sick room.
The year that Dr. Gorrie died, the New Or-
leans Medical and Surgical Journal printed a
summary of his writings on the subject of fevers.
He concurred in the findings about malarial and
tropical fevers which were generally known in his
time and which are recognized as true today.
He recognized that malaria occurred in low
places, remained within a circumscribed radius,
was infrequent at high altitudes and occurred
less frequently where fires burned and in sections
where land had been cleared, especially where
drainage projects had been carried out. He ob-
served that persons who slept under nets rarely
had the fever and went so far as to attribute
this phenomenon to the sifting property of the
net, although he did not quite suspect that it
merely acted as a sieve which sifted mosquitoes
out of the air. He believed that vapors from a
volatile oil, which was formed in low swampy
places by the decomposition of vegetable and
animal matter, reached the lungs of an individual
and caused the fever. Three factors, he con-
cluded, contributed to its transmission: to form
the harmful volatile oil, organic matter had to
decompose; to spread the gases from the oil,
moisture was necessary; to volatilize the oil
SOUTHERN MEDICAL JOURNAL
properly, the maintenance of a given range of
temperature was essential. In excessively ele-
vated temperature, he argued, the oil volatilized
too rapidly, and in low temperature vaporized in-
sufficiently, to cause disease.
Although Dr. Gorrie had a false conception
of the cause of the fevers he painstakingly and
persistently studied, for their prevention he ad-
vocated, first, sanitary engineering, for draining
out and filling up low swampy places not only
prevented stagnation of water, but also helped to
decrease moisture. His advocacy of such meas-
ures presaged one phase of modern public health
service in the South and made of him a world
pioneer in the control of malaria.
The second preventive measure which he rec-
ommended was air-conditioning. So intent was
he upon his efforts to control temperature that
he discovered the principles underlying mechani-
cal refrigeration and even evolved a successful
ice-making machine in the furtherance of his
purpose. His crude conception of a system of
atmospheric control designed to compensate for
the excessive heat of summer nights by assuring
a definitely cool temperature for sleeping was
truly unique, but it marked the beginning of the
rapidly growing industry of today. He planned
a sleeping room with an opening in one wall at
the floor level instead of with the usual openings
of windows and doors. Suspended from the ceil-
ing in one corner there was to be a block of ice
in a receptacle and above it a cone-shaped hood
with a vent pipe passing from it through the
ceiling into the chimney. Robbed of some of its
impurities by the natural filter of soot carbon
in the chimney, the air would be drawn by suc-
tion through the vent pipe and over the ice.
The cooled air, descending, would then pass out
through the opening at the floor level and the
circulation of purified cooled air, passing con-
tinuously in from above and out from below,
would, he believed, keep the room at a tem-
perature safe from malaria. For this purpose
Dr. Gorrie estimated that from seven to four-
teen pounds of ice in twenty four hours
would be required for a room containing a
thousand cubic feet. Undoubtedly, such ventila-
tion in a sleeping room would have insured pro-
tection from mosquitoes. Although Dr. Gorrie
is credited with devising successful measures for
cooling hospital rooms even before he devoted
himself to the problem of perfecting a machine
for producing artificial ice, there appears to be
no record extant in which they are described.
The counterpart of Dr. Gorrie's windowless
air-conditioned room is in industry already a
reality. A tool company in Massachusetts has
applied air-conditioning as a necessary adjunct
to its windowless factory where saws are manu-
factured under the ideal conditions afforded by
artificial lighting and ventilating. Indeed, more
than two hundred industries, from rayon to rail-
roads, have found air-conditioning an indispensa-
ble servant. Addressing the American Institute
of Electrical Engineers three years ago, Mr. Car-
rier predicted: "Whether we will ever come to
windowless offices, artificially lighted and com-
pletely air-conditioned, I do not know, but such
construction on the first fifteen floors of metro-
politan buildings would certainly be made prac-
ticable by air-conditioning, and very probably
It would no doubt delight Dr. Gorrie to know
of the millions of dollars being poured into pure
research, putting every type of air-conditioning
equipment through the most exhaustive tests.
He would be intensely interested in all that is
now known of the seven cardinal factors of the
science of air-conditioning which he visualized:
heating and humidification, which pertain to
winter; cooling and dehumidification, which per-
tain to summer; and air cleaning, air motion
and automatic control, which are in operation all
the year. He would also be deeply interested
in the body as a heat machine, throwing off heat
winter and summer by evaporation of perspira-
tion, by convection and by radiation, its ther-
mal efficiency approximately 17 per cent, which
in performance is comparable with that of the
most efficient power plant. Investigations which
have established a scale of reference termed
"effective temperature" would attract his scien-
tific mind, but to him the paramount aspect of
air-conditioning would be as the guardian of
health. Potentially this factor is quite as impor-
tant as that of providing comfort.
As a health measure, manufactured weather is
becoming more and more of an asset. Air-con-
ditioning, both summer and winter, cleans the
air, removing dust, dirt, bacteria and pollens.
It routs winter ailments resulting from drafts,
also irritation of the membranes of the nose and
throat caused by dried-out air. With the dust
particles which it eliminates go the dust-borne
bacteria. Sufferers from allergic diseases, such
as asthma and hay fever, find in it a source of
real relief. It is steadily gaining its place as a
factor in lessening the incidence of respiratory
diseases. Also, it increases measurably the
chances for life of infants born prematurely, as
temperature and humidity may be regulated with
extreme accuracy. Its potential importance to-
SOUTHERN MEDICAL JOURNAL
day, both in health and in disease, shows that
Dr. Gorrie was no. impractical dreamer.
In Statuary Hall in the nation's air-condi-
tioned Capitol, one of the two niches allotted to
Florida is filled with a statue of John Gorrie,
physician, scientist, inventor. This illustrious
son was the first to represent the State of his
adoption in the national Hall of Fame. C.
Adrian Pillars, Florida's own distinguished sculp-
tor, executed the statue, which was placed there
in 1914. Years earlier, on April 30, 1900, a
monument to its most distinguished citizen was
unveiled in a public square in Apalachicola. The
Southern Ice Exchange so honored Dr. Gorrie,
each of its members contributing the proceeds of
the sale of one ton of ice for the purpose. The
monument was erected largely at the instigation
of Captain George H. Whiteside, who, thirty
years after Dr. Gorrie's death, built in Apa-
lachicola one of the first commercial ice factories
in the world, using a large machine which dif-
fered in no material way from the small one used
by Dr. Gorrie to make ice for Monsieur Rosan's
Bastille Day dinner.
About the funeral of Dr. Gorrie there was
something of the pageantry of medieval Spain.
His bier, borne high upon the shoulders of the
city's leading young men, was carried to the
cemetery on the beach. Behind it walked his
son, with bared head. There followed most of
the populace of town and countryside, the women
bearing flowers, all anxious to pay a farewell
tribute, not to the inventor, the scientist, but
rather to the man, their beloved physician and
first citizen. A quarter of a century later, before
the old beach cemetery was abandoned and Dr.
Gorrie's grave moved to the central lot of the
new cemetery, where it is today, Dr. Gray and
Dr. Chapman strolled along the beach one day.
Pointing out the resting place of their old friend,
Dr. Chapman said:
"There is the grave of the man whom we
recognize as the superior of us all."
His was the superiority of service, the service
of a life dedicated to humanity. It was Edward
W. Bok, another Floridian by adoption, who,
in selecting the greatest word in the English lan-
"It isn't Love. It isn't Brotherhood. It isn't
Friendship. It is a word that embodies the spirit
and the meaning of all three of these words. The
word is: Service. Not the service that serves
self, but service in the true and intended
meaning of the word-the service that labors
for the interest of others. ."
Statue of Dr. Gorrie in Statuary Hall, Washington, by
C. Adrian Pillars.
Whatever the future of democracy such as
gave France her Bastille Day, whatever the rise
and fall of nations in the ebb and flow of civ-
ilization's advance, surely there will endure as
perpetual memorials, holding firm against the
wreck of time, those milestones of progress which
medical men are planting along the highroad of
human achievement. Many of them are the
gifts of obscure country practitioners, of Koch,
of Jenner, of our own Ephraim McDowell, Craw-
ford Long, Marion Sims and John Gorrie, to
a world not always appreciative at first but in
the end inestimably benefited.*
American Society of Heating and Ventilating Engineers: Willis
Haviland Carrier, M.E., President, unpublished paper from
the Society's headquarters, 51 Madison Avenue, New York.
Anonymous: Dr. John Gorrie, the Inventor of the First Ice Ma-
chine; Dr. John Gorrie, Florida's Greatest Inventor. Sub-
mitted by J. H. Cook, of Apalachicola, Florida.
*The writer wishes to express appreciation to Dr. Edward Jelks,
of Jacksonville, Florida, and Dr. George E. Weems and Dr. A. E.
Conter, of Apalachicola, Florida, for aid in securing material for
this paper, and to Mrs. F. R. Hill, of Tampa, Florida, for as-
sistance in its preparation.
SOUTHERN MEDICAL JOURNAL
Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography: John Gorrie,
Bok, Edward W.: Dollars Only, p. 46. New York: Charles Scrib-
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Carrier, Willis H.: Air-Conditioning as a Potential Factor in Na-
tional and World Economics. An address delivered before
the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, New York,
October 26, 1932. Manufacturing Weather. An address.
February, 1934. Bright Future of Air-Conditioning. Heating
and Ventilating, May, 1934.
Congressional Record, vol. 51, part 3, 63rd Congress, Second Ses-
sion, Washington, p. 3022, Feb. 6, 1914.
Cutler, Harry Gardner: History of Florida, 1:219, 566. New
York: The Lewis Publishing Co., 1923.
Dictionary of American Medical Biography: John Gorrie.
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Remus Magazine. Atlanta, Ga., November, 1908; also, pub-
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& Collins Co., 1924.
Ice and Refrigeration: Ceremonies at Unveiling of Gorrie Monu-
ment in Apalachicola, Florida, Chicago, June, 1900. Histori-
cal Review, August, 1901. Unveiling Gorrie Statue and Dr.
John Gorrie Honored, June, 1914.
Jelks, Edward: Doctor John Gorrie. Ann. Med. Hist., New Se-
ries, 3:387-390, 1931.
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ries of Articles. Apalachicola Commercial Advertiser, 1844.
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Lee, Hank: Made the First Ice: Dr. Gorrie, a Citizen of Apa-
lachicola. Atlanta Constitution, May 13, 1919; Ledger,
Columbus, Georgia, May 14, 1919.
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tients. The Modern Hospital, 43: No. 4, Oct., 1934.
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also, R.-port of the Commissioner of Patents for the Year
1851, Arts and Manufactures, Part I, p. 163.
Vaughan, Warren T.; and Cooley, Laurence E.: Air-Conditioning
as a Means of Removing Pollen and Other Particulate
Matter and of Relieving Pollinosis. Jour. Allergy, 5:37,
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Inventor of Mechanical Refrigeration. Suniland, Tampa,
Florida, 2: No. 3, June, 1925.
Whiteside, George H.: Dr. John Gorrie. Ice and Refrigeration,
Chicago, May, 1897. Also, a letter from Dr. A. W. Chap-
man, dated Feb. 17, 1897.
111 West Adams Street