McCoy, Elijah J.(born: 1843 - died: 1929)
Though it has been written otherwise, Elijah McCoy was not from Kentucky. He was born in Ontario, Canada. McCoy was the son of Mildred and George McCoy, escaped slaves from Louisville, KY. Elijah was a mechanical engineer known as the "Father of Lubrication." In 1872 he first patented an invention for self-oiling machines; automatic lubrication became known as "the real McCoy." He also invented an ironing table and lawn sprinkler. For more see World of Invention. History's most significant inventions and the people behind them, 2nd ed.
See photo and additional information about Elijah J. McCoy at the African American Registry website.