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He Made Ice and Changed the World

Dr. John Gorrie changed the world with his invention, but many people have never heard of him. After taking the Hippocratic Oath, he vowed to do what no other physician of his day had done: cure malaria and yellow fever. Realizing that temperature affected how likely epidemics would occur, Dr. Gorrie set off on his journey that would bring medicine—and the world—into the future.

With little money and even less public support, Dr. Gorrie became a well-known face in the South, producing artificial ice in the dead of summer. Once big corporations took over operations, Dr. Gorrie’s new ice machine was making more ice than ever before, and people started to take notice everywhere.

Though, Dr. Gorrie’s legacy didn’t end there; he’d start applying his technology in his medical practice, leading to the increased comfort and overall health of countless diseased victims suffering from the fevers, as tropical diseases were then called.

Today, Dr. Gorrie’s artificial ice has changed lives and made modern convenience possible. Although he’s still underrated in the media, his life and legacy live on through various medical journals, memorials, statues, and people who are passionate about his contribution to the world. It’s definitely not far fetched to say that Dr. Gorrie really left his mark.

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About the Author

A lifetime Floridian and identical twin, Linda Hansen Caldwell, was born in Jacksonville, Florida. As a child, she always loved science. She collected insects that she proudly shared with others, although some of her friends were a little squeamish.

Her father, Harold Hansen, taught her to play horseshoes, and she became a county champion. She also and spent a lot of time playing tennis and volleyball. When SEC volleyball was just beginning, Linda proudly wore #20 as a member of the very first Lady Gator volleyball team. As she matured, her stepfather, Robert Knorpp Jr. ( Bobby ) became a very influential person in her life. He taught her to set goals and motivated her to work toward them. Linda admired him greatly and was always able to seek his advice when she needed it. Further, he always believed in her.

A combined interest in biological sciences, health, and physical fitness led her to pursue a career in education. Linda received a BS from the University of Florida's College of Health and Human Performance. As either a resource or classroom teacher, she taught many subjects in every grade from K-12. She taught health education and science at John Gorrie Jr. High School for seven years and later became a high school teacher. She also edited textbooks and curriculum manuals. Linda was recognized as a respected health educator in Duval County and was named as one of Florida's Most Outstanding Secondary Science Teachers when she was teaching high school science.

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