Winston Shelton: Prolific engineer, inventor for GE, KFC dies at age 96

Winston Shelton: Prolific engineer, inventor for GE, KFC dies at age 96
Winston Shelton and Col. Harlan Sanders met in the late 1960s, working together and becoming friends. (Source: Winston Industries)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - One of Louisville’s most prolific inventors has died.

Winston Shelton shows off his CVap invention, still used by chefs and restaurants. (Source: Winston Industries)
Winston Shelton shows off his CVap invention, still used by chefs and restaurants. (Source: Winston Industries)

Winston Shelton was born in West Virginia, but did most of his work and earned most of his 70-plus patents while working in Louisville.

Shelton was drafted during World War II, but instead of serving abroad, he was sent to Princeton University to get a degree in electrical engineering. He was one of the few U.S. Army privates who completed the course work.

As an engineer for General Electric, he invented the modern washing machine.

GE sent Shelton to Louisville in 1952, where he later met and partnered with Colonel Harlan Sanders, designing a pressure fryer that helped put KFC on the map. He also created the CVap for KFC in 1980, which is used by restaurants and chefs to cook and maintain food quality.

He founded Winston Industries, which to this day serves foodservice clients in more than 120 countries.

Shelton died Monday at age 96. Family said he was just 18 days away from his 97th birthday.

He was preceded in his death by his first wife Hazel “Dolly” Shelton. He is survived by wife Joyce Fullerton Shelton, daughters Valerie and Laura Shelton and son David Shelton, along with 10 grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.

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