In which we learn that Kate Upton’s great grandfather invented the washing machine, and paid vacations
Feb 13, 2012, 5:59 PM EDT
Kind of ironic, since Kate herself is famous for not wearing clothes (she’s the 2012 SI Swimsuit cover model, it was revealed today). But yes, Kate Upton comes from old money, as they say. Her great grandfather, Frederick Upton, is one of the founders of the Whirlpool Corporation. And her uncle is a congressman. And her dad a high school athletic director.
OK, no one is quite sure who exactly invented the washing machine: the clothes-wringing apparatus has been around since at least the 18th century. But the first mass-produced, widely available electric clothes-wringer was manufactured by the Upton Machine Co. in Nov., 1911: which was founded by brothers Lou and Fred Upton. Fred is the grandfather of Frederick Upton, now a Congressman from Michigan’s Sixth District. And he’s the uncle of Kate Upton, your 2012 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover model. Does all this make Frederick Kate’s great-uncle? Look, I’m not sure. But they’re related.
The Upton Machine Company invented something even greater than the washing machine: paid vacations. 1917: The owner of Upton Machine Company, Lou Upton, wrote a letter to the employees, who were all female, telling them to take a paid week off of work to spend it with their husbands. Back then companies did not allow vacation time so this was unheard of.
Fred Upton, Kate’s uncle, is a Republican who worked for Ronald Reagan and is currently the Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. Her father, Jeff Upton, is the athletic director at Niles (Mich.) High School. Yet it’s Kate who has a humongous billboard in Manhattan:
The new Kate Upton SI Swimsuit cover was leaked by a gas station in Michigan [Off the Bench]
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