John GORRIE - 1845 - The refrigerator is invented (John Gorrie, United States)
"John Gorrie was born in 1803 and spent most of his childhood in South Carolina. After receiving a degree in medicine, he moved to Apalachicola, Florida, a port city on the Gulf of Mexico. In addition to practicing medicine, Gorrie studied tropical diseases. Like most physicians of the time, Gorrie incorrectly believed malaria, yellow fever, and other diseases were caused by hot air - a theory that was supported by his observation that 'nature would terminate the fevers by changing the seasons.' He wrote several articles urging people to drain swamps and marshlands, places where disease-carrying mosquitoes thrived. When Gorrie pursued the idea of using refrigeration to cool patients, he quickly discovered ice was expensive and sometimes hard to come by in the South, so he began exploring the potential of making artificial ice. By 1845, he quit practicing medicine to set about engineering an ice-making system. While receiving a US patent for his ice-making machine was a step forward, Gorrie's failure to succeed as a businessman because of circumstances, plus an early death, left him unknown in his day. He has since become renowned as a leading pioneer in refrigeration...
Gorrie received a US patent on May 6, 1851, for a machine that would 'convert water into ice artificially by absorbing its heat of liquefaction with expanding air.' Gorrie's system moved water through a series of pipes, releasing heat and cooling the water to make ice.
Gorrie's machine was not met with the same excitement as his chilled champagne. Few people felt the need for such a contraption..."
How the Refrigerator Changed History by Lydia Bjornlund, ABDO, 2015
Learn more about the life of John GORRIE.
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