• An engineer inspects the running gear of a steam locomotive at Steamtown NHS

    Steamtown

    National Historic Site Pennsylvania

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Drawing of mechanical engineer Elijay McCoy, creator of the 'real McCoy' automatic lubricator.

Elijah J. McCoy, a brilliant African-American mechanical engineer, invented an automatic lubricator cup (or drip cup) for steam locomotives and other machines. It worked so well that inspectors, when checking in a new piece of machinery, would ask, "Is it the real McCoy?" More...