On December 28, 1917, an article titled “A Neglected Anniversary” by H. L. Mencken was published in the New York Evening Mail. It claimed that the bathtub had been introduced into the United States as recently as 1842, the first ones having been made of mahogany lined with lead. The article went on to describe how the introduction of the bathtub initially was greatly discussed and opposed until President Millard Fillmore had a bathtub installed in the White House in 1850, making the invention more broadly acceptable. The article was entirely false but was still being widely quoted as fact years later, even as recently as January 2008 when a Kia TV ad referenced the story with no mention of its fictional nature.
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