Dr John Gorrie
(1803-1855)

Died aged c. 52

John Gorrie (October 3, 1803 – June 29, 1855) was a physician, scientist, inventor, and humanitarian. Born on the Island of Nevis in the Leeward Islands of the West Indies to Scottish parents on October 3, 1803, he spent his childhood in South Carolina. He received his medical education at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the Western District of New York in Fairfield, New York. In 1833, he moved to Apalachicola, Florida, a port city on the Gulf coast. As well as being resident physician at two hospitals, Gorrie was active in the community. At various times he served as a council member, Postmaster, President of the Bank of Pensacola's Apalachicola Branch, Secretary of the Masonic Lodge, and was one of the founding vestrymen of Trinity Episcopal Church. Dr. Gorrie's medical research involved the study of tropical diseases. At the time the theory that bad air caused diseases was a prevalent hypothesis and based on this theory, he urged draining the swamps and the cooling of sickrooms. For this he cooled rooms with ice in a basin suspended from the ceiling. Cool air, being heavier, flowed down across the patient and through an opening near the floor.

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Dr. John Gorrie [full inscription unknown]

John Gorrie State Museum, 46 6th Street, Apalachicola, FL, United States where they was