Inventors are inspirational. Granville Woods was an African American inventor and a mechanical and electrical engineer. He help more than 50 patents and one of his most noteworthy inventions was the Multiplex Telegraph. This telegraph sent messages between trains and train stations. Public transportation in cities became safer.
Granville Tailer Woods was born on April 23, 1856 in Columbus, Ohio. He had a brother named Lyates. He attended elementary school until he was 10 and had to leave school and get a job to help support his family. He was apprenticed in a machine shop. He learned to be a machinist and a blacksmith. In 1872, Woods became a fireman then an engineer with the Danville and Southern Railroad. In 1876, he moved to Springfield, Illinois. He worked at Springfield Iron Works and may have studied mechanical and electrical engineering in college until 1878. In 1878, he worked abroad the”Ironsides” and became Chief Engineer of the steamer. In 1880, he moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. There he went into business as an electrical engineer and inventor. His company became the Woods Electric Co. In 1892, he and his inventive brother Lyates moved their research operations to New York City, New York.
He may have been married and gotten a divorce around this time. Just as his personal history is somewhat sketchy, the history of some inventions is as well. There is evidence of Woods working on some inventions around the same time as other inventors. An early invention was a combination of a telephone and a telegraph. He sold his rights to the American Bell Telephone Company. In 1887, he patented the Synchronous Multiplex Railway Telegraph. In 1888, he manufactured a system of overhead electric conducting lines for railroads. In 1889, he filed a patent for an improved steam-boiler furnace. In 1901, Woods added a patent for an electric third rail. He also invented an air brake for trains in 1904, but George Westinghouse had patented an air brake earlier. Many of his 50 plus patents improved other inventions.
Granville Woods died on January 30, 1910 in New York City. He had sold devices to companies such as Westinghouse, General Electric, and American Engineering. Inventors gain inspiration in many ways and from each other at times. Their inventions can have significant impact. Be inspired! Have a bright day!