Weathering a wartime economy

To keep the business afloat during World War I, Upton Machine Co. purchased American Tool Company, a manufacturer of toy popguns, cork guns and air rifles, and the Stopple Kook Kit Company, which manufactured mess kits. Though Upton knew nothing about making toys, running its factories at full capacity helped its bottom line. Lou Upton saw an opportunity to work with the Boy Scouts of America and secured a spot in their catalog for the Upton Kamp-Kook-Kit. The Upton family became lifelong supporters of the Boy Scouts as a result.