Granville Woods – One of America’s Greatest Inventors

Madeline Holly-Rosing, creators of the Boston metaphysical society webcomic on how a fictionalised version of inventor Granville Woods came to be an integral part of the narrative.

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By Madeleine Holly-Rosing

When I first started developing the story of Boston Metaphysical Society, I wanted it to be representative of the American experience. Meaning it needed to include people of different classes, women and people of color.  I already had the characters of Samuel Hunter and Caitlin O’Sullivan pretty well mapped out, but I wanted to bring a different sensibility to the “team” I was creating.  I already knew that Bell, Edison, Tesla and Houdini were going to be part of the mix, but I wanted to see if I could find their contemporary in the African American community. Low and behold, after some research I discovered Granville Woods.

He was born in Columbus, Ohio in 1856 to free African-American parents, though some accounts claim his mother was part Native American.  Whether Woods had a little schooling or a lot during his formative years is a subject of debate…

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