Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 133,099 pages of information and 210,772 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

John Gamgee

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c.1832 Born in Florence, a British subject, the son of Joseph Gamgee (1801-1895), a Scottish veterinary surgeon, and his wife, Mary Ann West. Dr Joseph Sampson Gamgee, a surgeon and pioneer of aseptic surgery, was his brother.

1861 Lived in Edinburgh, Doctor Of Veterinary Medicine and (Clerenery?) Surgeon, with Adeline Gamgee 29, Arthur Gamgee 19 (sic)[1]

Appointed by the Privy Council to study a problem in cattle, he identified the threat of rinderpest from imported Baltic cows.

1872 One of the secretaries of the department of anatomy and physiology of the Biology section of the British Association meeting.[2]

1876 He was the developer of the Glaciarium, the world's first mechanically-frozen ice rink.

He later became involved promoting refrigeration technology.

1889 Described himself as a physiologist. Presented a paper at the British Association, reproduced in The Engineer, on "The Cardium", a heat-driven device consisting of a mixture of gas and liquid in a closed vessel.

1890 Patent on improvement in steam boilers.

1891 Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, lived in Wimbledon, with Adeline Gamgee 59[3]

1892 of The Laboratory, 3, Church-street, Westminster, S.W.

1893 Applied for a patent on a motor with exhaust maintained below the temperature of the environment, using working fluids in a refrigeration cycle, and another on improvements in vapour condensers.

1894 Died


  • Gamgee developed a "perpetual motion machine" known as the Zeromoter. The Zeromoter was intended to use ammonia within a refrigeration system to power ships. The technology gained the support of US President James Garfield, before being debunked.




See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1861 census
  2. The Engineer 1872/08/09
  3. 1891 census