'Real McCoy' credited for 50 inventions
2/12/2021, 6 a.m.
Often regarded as one of the most famous black inventors ever, Elijah McCoy was credited for 50 inventions over the span of his career.
In an effort to improve efficiency and eliminate the frequent stopping necessary for lubrication of trains, McCoy devised a method of automating the task. In 1872 he developed a “lubricating cup” that could automatically drip oil when and where needed — vital in avoiding sticking to the track. The lubricating cup met with enormous success and orders for it came in from railroad companies all over the country. It was so popular that when other inventors attempted to steal his idea and sell their own versions of the device, companies were not fooled. They insisted on the authentic device, calling it “the Real McCoy.”