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Granville T. Woods

by Evan from Westerville

Granville T. Woods was born on April 23, 1856. He was born in the city of Columbus, Ohio. Granville T. Woods was born a free black man. His mom’s name was Martha and his dad’s name was Tailer. Granville had two siblings. His brother was named Lyates. He also had a sister named Rachel. Granville married a girl named Gabrielle. They had one child, his name was Jake.

Granville T. Woods went to school until the age ten when he was forced to leave. After he left school, he worked in machine shops. While he was working in the machine shops he was working on railroad equipment and electrical equipment.

In 1872, Granville became a fireman on the Danville and Southern Rail Roads (he put the coals into the fire). He took courses in electrical and mechanical engineering from 1876-1878 at a college near New York. In 1878, Granville went to work on the Ironsides, a British Steamer; that went around the globe. In about two years Granville became the Chief Engineer on the Ironsides.

In 1880, Granville moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. He and his brother, Lyates, formed the Woods Railway Telegraph Company in 1884. This started a very busy time in Granville’s career. He invented many things including: the Synchronous Multiplex Railway Telegraph (1887) so people in the trains could communicate to each other by telegraph. This invention helped to avoid accidents. In 1888, Granville invented the overhead conducting system for electric railway. This invention helped the development of the overhead electric trains that were used in Chicago, St. Louis, and New York City. In 1899, Woods made the Amusement Apparatus, which was one of the parts of the first Roller Coasters at Coney Island in New York. In 1900, the invention that became his 20th patent was the electric incubator for chicken eggs.

Granville T. Woods got his first patent for a steam boiler furnace in 1884. He invented the Electric Railway in 1902, Electric Railway System in 1903, and the Electric-Railway Apparatus in 1904. Also he invented the automatic air break. He got patents for all of these.

Some of Granville’s major accomplishments were the electric incubator for chicken eggs. Another was the Synchronous Multiplex Railway Telegraph that helped trains communicate. Granville was known as the “ Black Edison ” because he invented many important things like Thomas Edison. Woods never got paid as much as money as Thomas Edison did because he was black. Although the Civil War had ended, black people still did not have equal rights.

Some world events that occurred when Granville was alive were that Henry Ford built his Model A (a car) in 1903. In 1883, Alexander Gram Bell invented the telephone. And in 1890, the Eiffel Tower was completed.

In Granville’s whole career he earned 60 patents! Of those 60, 45 had to do with railway(s) or railroad communication. A patent gives a person the legal right of ownership to an idea, object, or invention. Some one else can challenge a patent. It can even go to court. Thomas Edison challenged Granville T. Woods at least twice but Granville won both times. Another of Granville’s well-known inventions was the third rail called a “troller”. This later became the name of the car, “The Trolley”. There was more electricity to the train and less friction.

Granville T. Woods died on January 30, 1910, at Harlem Hospital in New York. He suffered a stroke. He was only 53 years old when he died. When he died, Granville T. Woods was penniless because he spent all of his money on his inventions, getting patents and defending himself in court.

Granville T. Woods made several impacts on history. Some of his Rail Road inventions helped improve safety for people and trains. His electric incubator helped to hatch more chicken eggs. His Railway inventions helped transportation and were the begging of modern train technology. Granville T. Woods was a great inventor.

Page created on 5/13/2011 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 2/25/2019 6:31:14 PM

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