Granville Woods Granville Woods
(1856 - 1910)

Born in Columbus, Ohio, Granville Woods migrated to Missouri at age 16, where he worked as a fireman-engineer on the railroads. Later, he studied electrical and mechanical engineering and became the person most responsible for modernizing the railroad.

In 1884, he secured his first patent for a steam boiler furnace. Woods went on to patent more than thirty-five electrical and mechanical inventions, including an improved telephone transmitter, an electric car powered by overhead wires, a "third rail" system for an electric locomotive, an automatic airbrake system and his "Synchronous Multiplex Railway Telegraph" which allowed messages to be sent between moving trains. This system made rail travel much safer.

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