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Thomas Jefferson gave orders for the demolition of the outdoor wooden privy and had two water closets installed upstairs, one on each end of the house. He also had a wine cellar built just west of the house and called it an "ice house." Jefferson made changes to many of the fireplaces, including equipping the kitchen with its first iron range fitted to the existing firebox and adding hob-grates for coal to several others. A call bell system was installed for summoning servants, and artificial light came in part from "patent" oil lamps that featured innovative Argand burners. On the outside of the building, lead and wood gutters were replaced with iron ones. The White House's first heating system, the gravity-based Pettibone furnace, was installed when James Madison took office in 1809.

This photograph from 1902 shows the original arch that spanned the protruding round ice house that was first enclosed in wood along with the original well.

Sagamore Hill National Historic Site

Footnotes & Resources

William Seale, The President’s House, 90-91, 92, 100, 103, 114, 117, 126; and William Seale, The White House: The History of an American Idea, 94.

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