Knoxville’s Fulton Bellows company helped win World War II

Dewaine Speaks

Dewaine Speaks

 Weston Fulton: Edison of the South


Monday, August 8, 2022

11:30 a.m.

Crowne Plaza Hotel
401 W Summit Hill Drive, Knoxville
Price for lunch is $13 (includes complimentary parking in the hotel garage).
If you choose not to eat, a charge of $7 covers parking and event arrangements.
The hotel now offers its traditional, delicious luncheon buffet again.

The meeting will be called to order at 11:55 a.m.

The program is a presentation on Weston Fulton, an American meteorologist, inventor and entrepreneur, best known for his invention, the sylphon, a seamless metal bellows used in thermostats, switches and other temperature controls. He founded Fulton Bellows which later became Robertshaw Controls, one of Knoxville’s largest employers.
Weston Fulton was an early member of the Technical Society of Knoxville and related to TSK’s honorary member Bob Scott.
Dwaine Speaks is a writer and native of East Tennessee. He has worked under contract with The History Press to write four books that establish suitable histories of notable events that have occurred in East Tennessee.
Published works by Speaks are
  • Weston Fulton in Tennessee: Edison of the South, a biography of Tennessee’s most prolific inventor
  • East Tennessee in World War II, the story of the tremendous contributions by East Tennesseans during the war
  • Historic Disasters of East Tennessee, which chronicles some of the disasters that often impacted entire communities
  • Murder Mayhem in East Tennessee, which covers stories that either had sub-plots or were of historic significance. 
Speaks earned a BA with a major in Economics from the University of Tennessee where he played outfield for the Volunteers baseball team. He retired with a career in the marketing of industrial equipment, domestically and internationally. He was a member of the United States Air Force, the Tennessee Air National Guard and the East Tennessee Veterans Honor Guard.
Dewaine Speaks worked for the Fulton Sylphon Company for over 35 years retiring there as National Sales Manager.
He made sales calls and attended meetings with engineers in most states and several foreign countries. Some of the projects he worked on while with the firm follow:
  • Disney World monorail tire sensors
  • Automatic oxygen systems for airliners
  • U.S. National Centrifuge Program
  • Dampening devices in the transmissions of automobiles
  • Controls on the distiller in Jack Daniels distillery
  • Automatic control of the Yugo automobile engine’s air-fuel mixture
  • Bellows as part of the fuel control system for NASA rocket engines
  • Device that helps control the blood temperature of open-heart surgery patients
  • Automatic deployment of parachutes of pilots ejecting at high altitudes
  • Automobile thermostats for Nissan Motor Company
  • System for providing water for astronauts in space
  • Star Wars propulsion system
The Technical Society is still testing Zoom Technology in order to offer hybrid meetings in the future. If you have any questions or comments please let us know.
For more information contact the secretary, Wayne Loveday, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 865-679-9854.