Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Ohio Bicentennial Moment

Inventor celebrated as 'Black Edison'

On April 23, 1856, Granville T. Woods was born in Columbus. The African-American inventor patented 35 inventions vital to the development of electrical and mechanical equipment, and more than 60 overall. Mr. Woods left school at age 10 to begin working in a machine shop, but he never stopped educating himself. For many years he worked during the day while taking classes or private instruction in electrical and mechanical engineering in the evening. He and his brother, Lyates, operated a machine shop in Cincinnati between 1884 and 1890. His first patent was for an improved steam boiler furnace in 1884. Later that year, he received a patent for an electric telephone transmitter. On Jan. 28, 1910, he had a stroke in New York City, and he died two days later. In 1974, Ohio Gov. John J. Gilligan issued a proclamation recognizing Mr. Woods as the "Black Edison."

- Rebecca Goodman

Ohio Moments appear here daily. Have a suggestion? Contact Rebecca Goodman at rgoodman@enquirer.com or (513) 768-8361.

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