From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

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. Elijah McCoy was 15 yeas old when he traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland to train as an engineer. For more see World of Invention. History's most significant inventions and the people behind them, 2nd ed.; and Elijah McCoy at UncoverED, a collaborative student-led archival project at the University of Edinburgh.

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NKAA Entry: McCoy, George and Mildred
NKAA Source: World of invention: history's most significant inventions and the people behind them

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“McCoy, Elijah J.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 24, 2024,

Last modified: 2020-12-10 19:28:25