Granville T. Woods patented a Telephone Transmitter on December 2, 1884 which joined together the telephone and telegraph. Woods sold the rights of the Telephone Transmitter to Alexander Graham Bell.
Granville T. Woods was often described as the "Black" Edison. Actually, Woods won twice in court defending his inventions from claims by Thomas Edison. Woods patented more than 50 inventions including the Synchronous Multiplex Railway Telegraph which enabled communications between train stations from moving trains. This system completely changed the operation of the railway system; saving perhaps thousands of lives by allowing trains to communicate with each other while moving on the rails. He sold many of his inventions to General Electric, American Engineering and Westinghouse. Woods was born on April 23, 1856 in Columbus, Ohio and died on January 30, 1910 in New York City at age 53.