Elijah McCoy (The Real McCoy) 1843 – 1929

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The Real McCoy

The Real McCoy

C. Hub Magazine focuses on creative Africans who have made enormous achievements that changed our lives today. C. Hub identifies with these powerful minds in Science and Arts by going extra miles to understand the facts about these talented people in order to tell their stories.

We look at the work of Elijah McCoy to connect the dots of the history. His work brings a deep meaning  into the creative minds of Africans, the distinction between escapist creativity(artificiality) and a genuine one. The real McCoy  was born in Canada in 1843,His parents had been slaves who escaped from their master in the state of Kentucky.

Young Elijah was talented and became fascinated with machines as he grew up. His background and frustrating periods of his life did not stop him from achieving his full potentials when he invented an automatic lubricator (drip cup) for oiling the steam engines of locomotives and ships. ‘Drip cup’ was so popular that persons inspecting equipment generally inquired if it contained the ‘real McCoy’ and that was the genesis of the phrase ‘the real McCoy’

McCoy received his first patent on July 12, 1872 and was immediately adopted by major industries using heavy equipment. He went further to invent twenty – three lubricators for different kinds of equipment. He also set up Elijah McCoy Manufacturing Company in Detroit, Michigan to invent and sell his inventions.  Creative figures like McCoy are true source of inspiration  for not allowing  the spectre of slavery to deter them from their goal and ambitions.  Their spirit of resilience, strength and creativity are the bedrock of creating great talents in this generation.

Article written by :

Emeka Anyanwu