Ospreyshire Origins: GTW: Granville Tailer Woods


I’m not an Edison clone
The railroads were my domain
The damage in those fields were staggering, so I started with the telegraphony
Relayed messages ensured safety, wire by wire
Then Edison wanted credit for my work
How nice, I sued and beat him twice
He was on his knees begging me to work for him.
Nah, bruh
I kept my head up and crafted overhead lines to clear road traffic of cable cars
Automatic brakes, circuits, and egg incubators
Would become part of my repertoire
Although I would rest in an unmarked grave for sixty-five years
My name would be on streets and schools
I’m glad the afterlife wasn’t the end of the line for me

All aboard the originator’s express!

Third time is the charm. This is the third track from Dear Innovare that involves Edison ripping off someone and the second one involving an African-American inventor.

Granville Tailer Woods made several inventions with the telegraphony which was the first telephone/telegram hybrid for trains which drastically improved communications between cars. He made innovations in the third rail, egg incubators, and I even found out long after recording is that he had the archetype for the rollercoaster. Yes, Six Flags, Disney World/Disneyland, Universal Studios, and your favorite theme park owe something to this man! Edison actually plagiarized the telegraphony, so GTW sued him twice and WON against him. Oh, yeah. That actually happened. This is further proof that Tommy is nothing but an overrated hack. I didn’t know who GTW was until last year and that’s a shame on the educational system. If I learned about him during my childhood, I might have been an engineer by now and not be some artsy loser.

The picture of Granville Tailer Woods is from Famous Inventors.

9 thoughts on “Ospreyshire Origins: GTW: Granville Tailer Woods

  1. Ospreyshire, you are NOT a loser. Never think that! Never believe that! You are a talented, empathetic, intelligent, creative person who is too hard on himself. I could continue with ALL the qualities that you possess that indicate you are NOT a loser, but I need some sleep. Please, stop being so hard on yourself. I just want to shake you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for encouraging me, Shelby. I still struggle with self-loathing even though I’m nowhere near as bad as I was in that regard years ago. I do apologize if I sounded more depressed than I actually was in the post even if that “artsy loser” line was more in passing than than anything.

      I was really impressed with Granville Tailer Woods and several other of the inventors I mentioned in my album. It was frustrating not hearing about several of them when I was in school. being an autodidact certainly has it’s bright side, but there’s a part of me that wishes I could’ve learned about them when I was a kid and could have invented something great or at least have a successful business.

      I needed to read this comment from you. Thank you. Out of curiosity, have you heard of Dr. Woods before?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ospreyshire, like you, the ‘public fool’ system did NOT teach us a damn thing about people who look like me. We were only bombarded with what whites did, here, there and way over yonder. It is a sad shame that many of us had to become adults to learn about people like Granville Tailer Woods and all the others you’ve highlighted on your blog. This just shows the extent of racism in this country. It is insidious.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, definitely. The only black inventors and pioneers that I heard of during my K-12 years were George Washington Carver and Lonnie Thomas. The former was the only black inventor I was taught in school about (even then it was a blip in hindsight and only talked about his work with peanut butter). The latter who was famous for creating the Super Soaker of all things was someone I heard about only because of an episode of The Proud Family of all things when I was in middle school which is sad, if you think about it.

        Exactly! I’m glad you could relate in only knowing about Granville Tailer Woods and so many others only until adulthood. That was also part of my point when I had the songs about the black inventors and innovators in particular which involves most of the album. For me, there’s an ambivalent feeling in learning about these great unknown black inventors. The upside is me thinking “Hey, this is awesome! I didn’t even know about this and I’ll do more research!” while at the same time I think to myself “How did I not know about this person or that person?! If I knew about them when I was a kid, I’d have way more self-esteem and invent something!”. Have you ever had that feeling, too? It’s totally insidious and this was by design. Could you imagine if Dr. Woods, Benjamin Banneker, or Charles R. Drew for example were taught in school just as much as Alexander Graham Bell, Isaac Newton, and/or that patent thief Thomas Edison?


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