Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Gorrie's Fridge - 1851

The model of the original ice-making machine in the Gorrie Museum in Apalachicola, Florida. The ice collects in the wooden box near the top.

Dr. John Gorrie (1803 - 1855), an early pioneer in the invention of the artificial manufacture of ice, refrigeration, and air conditioning, was granted the first U.S. Patent for mechanical refrigeration in 1851.

Dr. Gorrie's basic principle is the one most often used in refrigeration today; namely, cooling caused by the rapid expansion of gases. Using two double acting force pumps he first condensed and then rarified air. His apparatus, initially designed to treat yellow fever patients, reduced the temperature of compressed air by interjecting a small amount of water into it. The compressed air was submerged in coils surrounded by a circulating bath of cooling water. He then allowed the interjected water to condense out in a holding tank, andreleased or rarified, the compressed air into a tank of lower pressure containing brine; This lowered the temperature of the brine to 26 degrees F or below, and immersing drip-fed, brick-sized, oil coated metal containers of non-saline water, or rain water, into the brine, manufactured ice bricks. The cold air was released in an open system into the atmosphere.

Story: http://www.phys.ufl.edu/~ihas/gorrie/fridge.htm