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Granville T. Woods (1865-1910) an African American inventor, held more than 50 patents in his lifetime and was referred to by some as the “Black Edison.” Woods concentrated most of his work on trains and streetcars. One of his most important inventions was the Synchronous Multiplex Railway Telegraph, which allowed for telegraph messages to be sent from train stations to moving trains via ambient static electricity from existing telegraph lines. The ability to give train crews advance notice of potentially dangerous situations on the tracks ahead was a key safety improvement. Woods is sometimes credited with the invention of the air brake and the third rail for trains. While Woods was not the primary inventor of either device, he invented significant improvements to each and received patents on the changes he suggested.