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It's hard to believe that much can be accomplished in life if on is forced to leave school at the age of ten. Yet Granville T. Woods did just that, educating himself in practical skills for his future.

Born in Columbus, Ohio in April 23, 1856, Woods literally learned his skills on the job. During his youth he went to night school and took private lessons while learning valuable skill during the day working. Even though he had to leave formal school at age ten Granville Woods realized that learning and education were essential for developing critical skills, abilities that would allow him to express his creativity with machinery.

In 1872 he obtained a job as a fireman on the Danville and Southern railroad in Missouri, eventually becoming an engineer. He invested his spare time in studying electronics.  He later moved in 1874 to
Springfield, Illinois worked in a rolling mill. And again to the East in 1876 and worked part time in a machine shop. All the while, he kept taking classes in technical schools, focusing on engineering. In 1878, he became an engineer aboard the Ironsides, a British steamer, and, within two
years, he became chief Engineer of the steamer.

But Granville T. Woods was a great electrician and an inventive genius. His talents could not go unnoticed. Woods invented fifteen appliances for electric railways and received his
first patent in 1884 on an improved steam boiler furnace (U.S. 229,854). By 1880, he had established his own shop in Cincinnati, Ohio, creating many more inventions to revolutionize the railroad industry. The most noted work was in 1887 when he patented the Synchronous Multiplex Railway Telegraph (U.S. 373,915) , which allowed communications between train stations from moving trains. Train accidents and collisions were causing great concern to both the public and the
railways at the time. Woods' invention made it possible for trains to communicate with the station and with other trains so they knew exactly where they were at all times. This invention made train movements quicker and prevented countless accidents and collisions.

Granville T. Woods attained great fame. He was a great electrician. A great inventor. A great man. He brought luster to his name and benefited mankind through inventions of exceptional interest to the world of communications and science. He will be remembered as an ingenious American
and is considered by many black historians as the African American version of Thomas Edison.. Granville T. Woods died in New York City on January 30, 1910.