African-American Contributions to Science

Granville T. Woods: Railway Telegraph

Granville T. Woods (1856-1910), best known as the black Thomas Edison, filed more than 150 patents during his lifetime. His most notable contributions include the “telographony,” a combination of the telegraph and the telephone—a precursor to modern day text messages.

In 1887 he produced the “Synchronous Multiplex Railway Telegraph,” which enabled messages to be sent from moving trains and railways stations. In addition to these contributions, Woods was also very green. He invented a light dimmer in 1890 that resulted in 40 percent energy savings. (Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

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