Dr John Gorrie Red Cedar

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Dr John Gorie Red Cedar

Parent tree location: Pensacola, FL 

Distance from MOSI to parent tree: 194 miles

patients more comfortable and to help combat their fevers. At that time, ice was costly and had to be shipped from northern lakes to the deep south so Dr. Gorrie sought a way to create ice by artificial means to help fight the fevers common from tropical diseases like malaria and yellow fever.


Dr. John Gorrie was a pioneer in refrigeration, the artificial manufacture of ice, and air conditioning. Gorrie’s theory of highly compressing air, water cooling the air within metal pipes, and returning the air to its natural uncompressed state to create air cold enough to freeze water is the basis upon which modern refrigeration is based. The Dr John Gorrie Red Cedar stands outside the John Gorrie Museum in Apalachicola, Florida.


Did You Know?

A statue of John Gorrie, physician, scientist, inventor, and humanitarian stands at the U.S. Capitol's Statuary Hall. The statue of Gorrie is one of 100 statues of famous Americans housed at the Capitol. Two statues represent each of the 50 states. The other statue from Florida commemorates Edmund Kirby Smith, who was the last surviving full General of the American Civil War.

Capitol Campus Art: John Gorrie


Learn more about John Gorrie

Florida State Parks: John Gorrie Museum State Park, Apalachicola, FL

Famous Floridians: John Gorrie


Ice Garden

By pioneering modern refrigeration, Dr. Gorrie made possible life as we know it in Florida today. Refrigerated train cars allowed Florida produce to be transported to faraway markets, and air conditioning makes life here much more pleasant. The Ice Garden showcases several species known as Ice Plants (Delosperma spp.), along with cool-colored plants in shades of blue and white including: Snow Squarestem (Melanthera nivea), Frost Weed (Verbesina virginica), Plumbago (Plumbago auriculata), Silver Buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus var. sericeus), Diamond Frost euphorbia (Euphorbia ‘Inneuphdia’)

Click here for more information on plants in the Ice Garden.


Dyed and tooled leatherwork by Ron Osceola


Artist’s Statement

Choosing Dr. John Gorrie has been truly been a pleasure. After all, look at the tremendous impact he has had on Florida, without his invention of the air conditioner many would not be able to live here.


The Eastern Red Cedar also lends itself to the overall presentation. I have created a tribute to Dr. John Gorrie from a Native American perspective. I started with frame drums on the left; typically the frames of these drums are made from cedar. Moving toward the center obviously a picture of the man himself and since air conditioning was this man’s game I thought what better house to air condition than a Seminole Chickee, the most quintessential Florida Home. My medium for this work is hand-tooled and hand-dyed leather. 




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