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July 10, 1967


JAMA. 1967;201(2):130-131. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130020076023

The devices of John Gorrie, physician of Apalachicola, Fla, for ice making and cooling of air in the sickroom issued from his search for a means of reducing the incidence of malaria and yellow fever. Gorrie accepted the prevailing belief of his time that contagions were related to the miasm from swamps and low lands, and if air could be purified and cooled, the result would be salutary.

Little is known of Gorrie's youth and preparatory education beyond the fact that he was born in Charleston, SC, where he was schooled, and, that after two years of study, he graduated MD in 1827 from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the Western District of the State of New York in Fairfield, a predecessor of the Buffalo Medical College. Significant voids in the biographical data of Gorrie were partially corrected in 1897 by George H. Whiteside, of the Southern Ice