In 1909, newly-elected president William Howard Taft turned the White House stables into a garage and purchased four automobiles: two Pierce- Arrows, a Baker electric, and this White Steamer. He was the first president to be officially transported by automobile, rather than by horse and carriage. This car proved to be a favorite. The president would use bursts of steam to ward off pesky press photographers.
Taft firmly believed that the automobile was the future of transportation in America. He embraced this new technology, both in his purchases for the White House and in his promotion and advocacy for the automobile. He encouraged Congress to accept the car in American society and to create car-friendly legislation such as funds appropriations for road systems. These actions helped further the growth of automobile manufacturing.
This car was the ninth to be added to the National Register of Historic Vehicles in 2016.