Ever heard of the phrase “The Real McCoy”?
Did you ever wonder how this phrase came about? Let’s take a look at Black inventor, Elijah McCoy’s revolutionary invention, which happened to be his first invention of many, an automatic lubricator cup for steam engines.
Let’s just say that this invention was crafted so well that others desperately attempted to mimic such invention. However, there was none like the authentic, coining the phrase, “The Real McCoy”. Buyers weren’t interested unless it was ‘The Real McCoy’. While his main interests were in mechanical engineering and his qualifications proved him so, it was hard to find work due to the racial barrier in America. Instead, McCoy managed to find work only as a fireman and oiler at the Michigan Central Railroad.
This is an example of true innovation, displaying how this young black man revolutionized automotive efficiency by way of developing a faster way to get the job done, despite his circumstances. The lubricator cup, developed by McCoy in 1872, could automatically drip oil when and where needed. Before this invention, trains would have to stop frequently for proper manual lubrication. This is a huge deal, think of all the trains that exist today and all other machines that benefit from the use and design of the lubricator cup.
McCoy definitely tapped into his creativity with his growing list of inventions. Two more of McCoy’s inventions to mention are the folding ironing board patented in 1874 and the lawn sprinkler patented in 1899.
Lawn Sprinkler Patent- Elijah McCoy (1899)
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