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Kachelle Pratcher


Black History Icon: Granville T. Woods

granville-t-woodsIt’s February and you know what that means, it’s Black History Month! This month is a time as and when people pay respect to some of the most fascinating African Americans in history that have created items that we use daily. Today, we’re highlighting the railroad industry inventor GranvilleT. Woods, also known as the ‘Black Edison.’ He produced inventions that helped to improve electric railway cars and to control the flow of electricity.

Granville T. Woods was born pn April 23, 1856 in Columbus, Ohio and is noted as one of the first African Americans to work in the field of mechanical and electrical engineering. Throughout his life he acquired multiple jobs that included work as a railroad engineer and railroad worker. Woods knew that he could possibly hold the future to the railroad industry.

Having received little to no schooling, he took courses in engineering and electricity while living in New York. These courses enabled him to produce a system that would let engineers know how close a train was to others. This invention helped subside accidents and collisions between railroad cars. Woods set up his own company with the primary goal to develop, manufacture and sell electrical products.

Granville Woods registered over 60 patents in his lifetime ranging from an improved steam boiler, electric railway and a safety apparatus, just to name a few. We say thank you to Granville T. Woods for his inventions that has helped revolutionize the railroad. The food we eat, cars we look to buy, and household daily items are transported into stores by railroad.