On 23 April 1856, Granville T. Woods was born.
Known as "Black Edison," #GranvilleWoods was an African-American #inventor who made key contributions to the development of the #telephone, #streetcar and more.
Granville T. Woods was born in Columbus, Ohio, on April 23, 1856, to free African-Americans. He held various #engineering and industrial jobs before establishing a company to develop electrical apparatus. Known as "Black Edison," he registered nearly 60 patents in his lifetime, including a telephone #transmitter, a trolley wheel and the multiplex #telegraph (over which he defeated a lawsuit by #ThomasEdison). Woods died in 1910.
Granville received little schooling as a young man and, in his early teens, took up a variety of jobs, including as a #railroad engineer in a railroad #machine shop, as an engineer on a #British ship in a #steelmill, and as a railroad worker. From 1876-1878, Woods lived in #NewYorkCity, taking courses in engineering and electricity—a subject that he realized, early on, held the key to the #future.
Back in #Ohio in the summer of 1878, Woods was employed for 8 months by the Springfield, Jackson and Pomeroy Railroad Company to work at the #pumping stations and the shifting of cars in the city of Washington Court House, Ohio. He was then employed by the Dayton and Southeastern Railway Company as an engineer for 13 months.
During this period, while traveling between #Washington Court House and #Dayton, Woods began to form ideas for what would later be credited as his most important invention: the "inductor telegraph." He worked in the area until the spring of 1880, and then moved to #Cincinnati.
Early Inventing Career
Living in Cincinnati, Woods eventually set up his own #company to develop, manufacture and sell electrical #apparatus, and in 1889, he filed his 1st #patent for an improved #steam #boiler #furnace. His later patents were mainly for electrical devices, including his 2nd invention, an improved telephone transmitter.
The patent for his device, which combined the telephone and telegraph, was bought by Alexander Graham Bell.
From 1902-1905, he received patents for an improved air-brake system.