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Inventor and engineer, Elijah McCoy (May 2,1844 - October 10, 1929),
was notable for over 50 patented ideas. Born in Canada to escaped slaves,
McCoy went to Scotland as a young man to apprentice as a mechanical
engineer. After returning to his family in Michigan, the best job he could get
was as a oilman and fireman on steam-powered locomotives. Using his
expertise, McCoy solved a common problem faced by the railroad system
during his time. He created an oil cup that allowed an engine to remain in
motion and receive constant lubrication, as opposed to regularly stopping the
train to manually oil it.  McCoy's invention was in such high demand that when
ordering the part people insisted that they receive McCoy’s lubricator and not
an inferior substitute. Buyers began to ask for “the real McCoy,” popularizing
the expression that is still used today!
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