Ph: Charlélie Marangé
M: Benjamin Clementine
BLACK HISTORY MONTH DAY: 17
Ever wonder where the term, “the real mcoy” came from?
Elijah McCoy was born to runaway slaves in Ontario, Canada. After completing grammar school, his parents sent him to Scotland to become a mechanical engineering apprentice. Upon returning to the United States, he could not find a job that suited his profession. He did, however, manage to find work in the railroad industry. It was this work that led McCoy to a revolutionary invention.
At that time, locomotive parts needed lubrication in order for the train to run. The only way to do that was to stop the train and do it by hand, a time-consuming and costly process. McCoy created a self-lubricating system, the “graphite lubricator,” that did not require the train to stop. This nifty invention gained McCoy popularity and sold across the country. Other companies tried to duplicate his invention, but could not come close to the authentic design. Machinists and engineers who wanted the real deal asked, “Is it the Real McCoy?”
In 1920, McCoy established his own company, the Elijah McCoy Manufacturing Company, and served as a consultant to the railroad industry on patent matters. During his life, he invented and sold 57 different kinds of devices and machine parts, including a folding ironing board (for which he received a patent) and a lawn sprinkler.
Post by @KingKwajo
Photographer Randolph Garrett