The techy president

Millard Fillmore is famously the non-famous non-descript nothing-much president. He deserves credit as an early adopter of tech.

In 1851 he got the White House kitchen to adopt cookstoves instead of fireplaces. The cooks went on strike, fearing explosions or something, so he brought in tech advisors from the company that made the woodstoves, who reassured and trained the cooks. From there the new device spread quickly to NYC and other urban areas.

In 1852 he put the government’s weight behind a cross-country telegraph and railroad, in order to connect the newly claimed California to the east. He assumed, probably correctly, that California would rejoin Mexico without steady command and commerce from DC and NYC.

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