Apalachicola, Florida: Museum to the Man who Invented Air Conditioning

Florida native John Gorrie invented an air-refrigeration machine in the 1850s to cool hospital patients -- but no one paid attention at the time and he died, broke, at age 51.

John Gorrie Museum

Address:
46 6th St., Apalachicola, FL
Directions:
John Gorrie Museum. On 6th St./Broad St. at the corner of Ave. C/Columbus St. Only a couple of blocks west of the US 98 bridge across East Bay.
Hours:
Th-M 9 am - 5 pm, except Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day. (Call to verify)
Phone:
850-653-9347
Admission:
State Park Fee $1, under 6 free.
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Museum to the Man who Invented Air Conditioning

Very small museum (two rooms) with limited admission hours.

[Beth Demme, 04/20/2013]

But the rooms are... air conditioned. We hope.

Gorrie Ice Museum

For Florida panhandle vacationers, a visit to the Gorrie Ice Museum in Apalachicola is in order. Signs point the way down a side street off the main drag near the White Rabbit grocery store. Several cases depict antebellum life in the area, the history of the cotton trade, even actual cotton bales!!

It must have cost a relative fortune, but the museum proudly exhibits a flashing, lighted mock-up display showing the scientific principles of Gorrie's ice maker. He used the machine to produce cold air for the inmates of a local TB sanitarium.

The small building also has a lovely walled garden so you can rest after viewing the displays.

[Steve Campbell, 01/10/1999]

Florida owes John Gorrie a lot. An old postcard of a diorama at the museum reads: "Dr. John Gorrie points to the first air conditioner suspended from ceiling of sick room. A convection current of air piped from above passing over an ice filled vessel was cooled by the melting ice. Then he invented the ice making machine."

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September 14, 2014

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