GRANVILLE T. WOODS Biography - Pioneers, Explorers & inventors


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Name: Granville T. Woods                                                           
Born: April 23, 1857                                                               
Died: January 30, 1910                                                             
Granville T. Woods(April 23, 1857- January 30, 1910 in Columbus, Ohio), was       
an African-American.                                                               
Woods dedicated his life to developing a variety of improvements relating to the   
railroad industry.                                                                 
Granville T. Woods literally learned his skills on the job. Attending school in   
Columbus until age 10 (to help his father in a machine shop that made speed       
equipment for carriages and repaired railroad equipment and machinery), he         
served an apprenticeship in a machine shop and learned the trades of and.         
Intrigued by the electricity that powered the machinery, Woods studied other       
machine workers as they attended to different pieces of equipment and paid other   
workers to sit down and explain electrical concepts to him. During his youth he   
was inspired by Lewis Latimer, and he also went to night school and took private   
lessons. Although he had to leave formal school at age ten, Woods realized that   
learning and education was essential to developing critical skills that would     
allow him to express his creativity with machinery.In 1872, Woods got a good job   
as a fireman on the Danville and Southern Railroad in Missouri, eventually he's   
an engineer. Surprisingly,we don't know exactly where he attended school but it   
is believed it was an eastern college.He spent his spare time studying             
electronics. In 1874 Woods moved to Springfield, Illinois, and worked in a         
rolling mill. In 1878, he took a job aboard the Ironsides, a British steamer,     
and, within two years, became Chief Engineer of the steamer. Two years later he   
obtained employment with D&S Railroads, driving a steam locomotive.               
Unfortunately, despite his high aptitude and valuable education and expertise,     
Woods was denied opportunities and promotions because of the color of his skin.   
Out of frustration and a desire to promote his abilities, Woods, along with his   
brother Lyates, formed the Woods Railway Telegraph company in 1884. The company   
manufactured and sold telephone, telegraph and electrical equipment. Finally,     
his travels and experiences led him to settle in Cincinnati, Ohio.