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Unformatted text preview: Granville T. Woods: The Black Edison Derek W. Johnson History 106H Dr. Alpern February 7, 2008 On my honor, as an Aggie, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this academic work. In the late 1800s, a popular candidate for Congress remarkedNo one of the race [blacks] had ever reached the dignity of an inventor. 1 This quote perfectly portrays the sentiment of the post-reconstruction time period. Blacks were considered to be socially, economically, and intellectually inferior to whites. However, one man broke that mold. Granville T. Woods was one of the most prolific African American inventors of the Industrial Age, with over fifty patents to his name. 2 Although Woods came out of an extraordinary background and possessed remarkable intelligence and creativity, he never managed to fulfill the American dream. In April of 1895, Cosmopolitan Magazine published an article on Mr. Woods and posted a picture of the man. The article briefly discusses Woods heritage, which was very important at the time, and describes several of his more noteworthy patents. The main of the article is dedicated to a patent contest involving one of Woods latest inventions, an electric motor regulator. The article ends by paying Woods this compliment: Mr. Woods has a remarkably thorough knowledge of the intricate mathematics of electricity, and of legal practice respecting inventions. 3 Granville Woods had a unique background that has been questioned for years. Several sources claim that he was born on April 23, 1856, in Columbus, Ohio....
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- Spring '08