Brand History and Description –
Upton Machine Company was established by Louis Upton (Lou) on 11th November 1911. Earlier Lou worked as an insurance agent while his uncle Emory ran a machine shop. After failing in a business venture, Lou made a manual clothes washer and was successful in getting a patent for it. Subsequently, in association with his uncle Emory and a financial assistance of $5000 from Lowell Bassford, a retailing executive they successfully launched electrically powered mechanized wringer washers.
Immediately on formation of a company, Lou’s younger brother Fred Upton joined them. Commonwealth Edison, Federal Electric Division with 100 machines order was the first customer of Upton Machine Company. However a faulty gear assembly prompted the order to be cancelled and the washers returned. The washers were taken back and repaired successfully. Commonwealth Edison was not only pleased with this gesture but they even went to the extent of doubling their order. The company remained a loyal customer of the Uptons’, till they started making their own electrical washers.
The loss of Federal Electric Division prompted Upton Machine Company for diversification. In 1916, the company was successful in getting Sears, Roebuck as its customer. Sears started selling Upton power driven washers under ‘Allen’ brand. They offered a deluxe model at $95 and an economy model at $54.75. To avoid complete dependence on Sears, Upton continued to sell their washers in their own brand name.