#OnThisDay 1843 Elijah "The Real" McCoy, inventer and holder of over 50 patents, was born in Colchester, Ontario.

Who was Elijah McCoy? Glad you asked.
Born in Canada, to parents who had fled slavery, Mr. McCoy trained as an engineer in Scotland as a teenager. Racism kept him from a job as an engineer position in the US so he worked for a railroad + invented a lubrication device to make railroad operations more efficient.
Guess how Mr. McCoy's parents got to Canada? They were passengers of Harriet Tubman's on the famed Underground Railroad.

Thank you, Harriet Tubman.
In 1847, the large family returned to the United States, settling in Ypsilanti, Michigan. McCoy showed a love of mechanics. His parents arranged for him to travel to Scotland at 15 for an apprenticeship in mechanical engineering. He became a certified mechanical engineer.
Well, you know racism . . . because despite his qualifications, he was unable to find work as an engineer in the United States; skilled professional positions were not available for African Americans at the time, regardless of our training or background.
McCoy got a job as a fireman and oiler for the Michigan Central Railroad. He developed his 1st major inventions. After studying the inefficiencies inherent in the existing system of oiling axles, he invented a device that distributed oil evenly over the engine's moving parts.
Pause here for a second. Trains and ships often had to stop to lubricate their engines and other moving parts. This brother, who couldn't even get a job as an engineer, invented a device that AUTOMATICALLY lubricated a whole train or ship, without stopping.
McCoy continued to refine his devices, receiving nearly 60 patents over the course of his life. While the majority of his inventions related to lubrication systems, he also developed designs for an ironing board, a lawn sprinkler, and other machines.
McCoy's achievements were recognized in his own time, but ofthen his name did not appear on the majority of the products that he devised because he didn't have the money to manufacture his lubricators in large numbers.
He formed his own company, the Elijah McCoy Manufacturing Company to produce lubricators bearing his name. Railroad operators would look for "the Real McCoy" on their trains and did not accept anything else after that.
McCoy married Ann Elizabeth Stewart in 1868. She died four years after their marriage. In 1873, McCoy married Mary Eleanor Delaney. In 1922, the McCoys were involved in an automobile accident. Mary died, while Elijah sustained critical injuries from which he never fully recovered
FIN/He is in the National Inventor's Hall of Fame.

McCoy died in the Eloise Infirmary in Detroit, Michigan, on October 10, 1929. He was 85. He is buried at Detroit Memorial Park East in Warren, Michigan.

Source:

biography.com/inventor/elija…

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elijah_Mc….

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