Woods, Granville, 1856-1910

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Granville Woods (b. April 23, 1856, Columbus, OH–d. Jan. 30, 1910, New York City, NY) was an African American inventor known for his over 50 patents, mostly related to trains and streetcars. He attended school through age 10 and then apprenticed in a machine shop. In 1872, Woods began working for railroads and on a steam ship. In 1880, he moved to Cincinnati, Ohio and established his business as an electrical engineer and an inventor and eventually moved his business, Woods Electric Co, to New York City, where he was joined by a brother, Lyates Woods.

Known as the "Black Edison", Woods’s big breakthrough, in the 1880s, was a communication system for railway workers that he referred to as the induction telegraph, secured the patent in 1887. With over 50 patents, Woods sold many of them to larger corporations and spent years defending his patents in court.

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creatorOf Woods, Granville T., 1856-1910. Papers. Ohio History Connection, Ohio Historical Society
referencedIn Harris, M. A., 1908-. Middleton "Spike" Harris papers, 1929-1977. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
Role Title Holding Repository
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associatedWith Harris, M. A., 1908- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
African Americans


Birth 1856-04-23

Death 1910-01-30



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