On this date in 1856, Granville T. Woods was born in Columbus, Ohio.
He was an African American businessman and inventor. Woods began work in a machine shop at age ten. Though largely self-taught, he studied electrical and mechanical engineering from 1876 to 1878. After that he worked on a British steamer, then became an engineer on a railroad based in Cincinnati, where he settled around 1880. Woods received his first patent in 1884 for a steam boiler furnace. In 1885 he invented a system called telegraphony, which allowed telegraph lines to carry voice signals.