Elijah McCoyElijah McCoy (born May 2, 1844) was an inventor. He was born in Colchester, Ontario, Canada.
McCoy's parents were runaway slaves from Kentucky who escaped on the underground railroad. When he was three, his family moved back to the United States to Detroit, Michigan. He had 11 brothers and sisters. Elijah was fascinated by machinery and invented the automatic lubricator, which oils the eingines of boats, trains, and so on, as well as 56 other patented devices.
The saying the real McCoy, meaing the real thing, derives from Elijah: many of his inventions were the basis of inferior copies.