Creation: Spring & Easter
You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom. (Malcolm X)
Granville T. Woods was an extraordinary inventor. He was born to free Black American parents in 1856 and left school at ten years old. He then worked with his father on jobs that gave him a lifelong interest in improving the US railroad system. Some say he attended college as a young man, but no one can say exactly where or when.
Woods studied other workers and asked them to explain engineering concepts to him. He ultimately worked as an engineer, but he was allowed to rise just so far because of the color of his skin. He moved on to form his own company in 1884. His partner was a brother who was also an inventor.
One of Woods’ best known inventions was a telegraph station that allowed train stations to communicate with moving trains. Dispatchers could then prevent accidents because they would know exactly where to find each train.
Alexander Graham Bell’s company then bought the rights to this patent, thus giving Woods the income to be a full-time inventor. Thomas Edison then claimed to be the inventor of this new system, and he sued Woods. Edison lost one lawsuit, filed another, and lost again. He then tried to gain control over Woods by offering him a top opposition in his firm. Woods said no, preferring to keep his freedom and rely on his own resources.
Many of his sixty inventions focused on increasing efficiency and safety on the railroad. He sold some of his inventions to corporations such as General Electric and American Engineering.
Woods died in 1919.
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