John Gorrie (1803-1855), an early pioneer in the invention of the artificial manufacturing of ice, refrigeration, and air conditioning. He was granted the first U.S. patent for mechanical refrigeration in 1851. His apparatus, initially designed to cool yellow fever patients, was an expanding-air cooling machine, similar in concept to the modern refrigerator. Impoverished, Gorrie sought to raise money to manufacture his machine, but the venture failed after the death of his partner. Embarrassed by public criticism and skepticism, financially ruined, and ill, Gorrie ultimately died in seclusion. The original model of this machine and scientific articles written by Gorrie are on display at the Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, D.C.
Dr. John Gorrie: Refrigeration Pioneer (University of Florida, Department of Physics)