Sunday, May 25, 2008


They Changed Our World

Granville T. Woods 1856-1910
"The Greatest Electrician in the World"

- In 1887 the national newspaper, American Catholic Tribune, declared Woods, "The greatest electrician in the world."1
-In 1886 The Cincinnati Sun--a white newspaper--predicted that Woods would become "Edison's successor," as America's greatest inventor.2
- He developed an improved system of overhead electrical wires for trains. The electrical wire system replaced the expensive, inefficient, and highly pollutant steam-driven engines in many areas.3
-He invented an electric rail system that provided electricity to power a railroad. He made numerous improvements to it throughout his career. The process is widely used in subways.4
-He invented an improved telephone transmitter, which allowed longer distant calls and a clearer reception.5
-He invented an electric telegraph system that allowed messages to be sent to and from moving trains. This devise revolutionized train safety.6
-The devise also allowed multiple messages to be sent over the same line7 without interference. One newspaper exclaimed. "200 operators may use a single wire at the same time."
-He invented an electronically heated egg incubator, which could handle 50,000 eggs at a time.8
-In 1896 he invented a device that controlled the electric current going through the generator to the machine, which reduced energy consumption. 9
-He invented the "telegraphy" which allowed regular people to send oral messages over telegraphs, whereas before one had to be an experienced telegraph operator and familiar with Morse Code in order to send messages.10 Alexander Graham Bells company purchased the invention.
-He invented an improved electric brake for trains.11
-He was offered a consulting job by Edison, which he turned down because he wanted to remain independent.
-Many serious illnesses--including small pox, kidney disease, and liver disease--in the prime of his career critically curtailed his success and shortened his life. Furthermore, his electric rail drawings (perhaps his greatest invention) were stolen and successfully marketed, which caused him to spend a lot of time and money in court (the man who stole his drawings ended up in jail and was disbarred). These setbacks disallowed Woods from reaching the greatness of becoming Edison's Successor as some had envisioned.

No comments: