Grandville Woods, the man who changed train and communication. As the inventor of the communication system between trains, the telegraph, the electrical independence of trains, a switch and more than 50 other inventions, the role of this African American was crucial during the Western industrial revolution.

Grandville Woods
Grandville Woods

As a self-taught student, Granville Taylor Woods only attended school until the age of 10. He was hired as a firefighter for a railway company in Nebraska and eventually became an engineer and part-time student in electronics. He was then hired on a steamship and 2 years later as chief engineer, but racism stopped its rise. He then left Columbus and settled in Columbus, Ohio to dedicate his life to modernizing the train. With his brother Lyates, he founded the Woods Railway Telegraph Company in 1884.

Granville woods
Granville woods
The same year, he invented the telephone transmitter, which improves sound quality and allows communication over longer distances. In 1885, he invented the telegraph, a system that combines the telephone and telegraph and simultaneously transmits voice and telegram.

The system was so successful that Granville Woods sold it to the American Bell Telephone Company. He then revolutionized the train and invented the “Synchronous Multiplex Railway Telegraph”, which allows moving trains to communicate with stations, which exponentially improves their safety. Thomas Edison claimed to be behind this invention, but the judiciary twice ruled in favor of Woods.

Granville Woods then developed a system that transmits electricity to the train, which, by using two blocks of iron placed on the rail every 40 meters, makes the electric cables over the railway useless. Throughout his life, Woods has patented numerous improvements to trains and communication systems. His last great inventions were an automatic circuit and an artificial incubator.

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