Welcome to day nine of Black History month. Today I’m turning the spotlight on inventor, Granville T. Woods. Woods made contributions to the inventions of the telephone, and more.

Woods was born in Columbus, Ohio on April 23, 1856 to free parents. He received little education, but he worked hard. He had multiple occupations, such as a railroad engineer, an engineer on a british ship, and a railroad worker.

He decided to settle down in Cinncinatti, Ohio, and began to work on ways to modernize the railroad. In 1888, he developed an overhead electric system for conducting lines for the railroad.


In 1887, he patented his invention of the Synchronous Multiplex Railway Telegraph. This invention allowed communication between trains and stations. In 1889, he filed a patent for an improved steam boiler.

The rights to Woods’ telegraphony patent were purchased by Alexander Graham Bell’s company. He then became a full time inventor. He also created the automatic air brakes, so the trains can stop. In addition, his electric car was powered by wires.

He also invented the third rail in 1901, which is a power pick up device. This is one of his most important inventions, and it is still used today. His inventions and contributions paved the way.

Woods died on January 30, 1910.

Read more about Granville T. Woods at


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