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Known as "Black Edison," Granville Woods was an African-American inventor who made key contributions to the development of the telephone, street car and more.
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Woods's next most important invention was the power pick-up device in 1901, which is the basis of the so-called "third rail" currently used by electric-powered transit systems. From 1902 to 1905, he received patents for an improved air-brake system.
By the time of his death, on January 30, 1910, in New York City, Granville T. Woods had invented 15 appliances for electric railways. received nearly 60 patents, many of which were assigned to the major manufacturers of electrical equipment that are a part of today's daily life.
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They are among history's most revered black inventors, known for their relentless inquisition, passionate research, impeccable design and, most importantly, their desire to push the envelope. Some of the world's greatest technological and social advancements, including the modern-day gas mask, light bulb and traffic light, owe their origins to black inventors. Did you know that George Washington Carver developed more than 100 products using peanuts? Or that Madam C.J. Walker was the first American woman to become a self-made millionaire? Learn more about these inventors, as well as Lonnie G. Johnson, Garrett Morgan, Patricia Bath, Percy Julian and more, at Biography.com.
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