April 23


April 23, 1856 Granville T. Woods, inventor often called the “Black Edison,” was born in Columbus, Ohio. In 1884, he and his brother formed the Woods Railway Telegraph Company to manufacture and sell telephone and telegraph equipment. On December 2, 1884, Woods was granted patent number 308,876 for a telephone transmitter, an apparatus that conducted sound over an electrical current. His instrument improved on models then in use by carrying a louder and more distinct sound over a longer distance. On November 29, 1887, he received patent number 373,915 for the synchronous multiplex railway telegraph which allowed communication between stations from moving trains. Although Woods was granted approximately 60 patents, he died virtually penniless on January 30, 1910. The Granville T. Woods Math and Science Community Academy in Chicago, Illinois is named in his honor.


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