Elijah McCoy was a famous African-American inventor that earned more than 57 exclusive rights for his exception inventions. Some of his most well known inventions included a cup that was fed by lubricating oil through a tiny bore tube. Born in Colchester, Ontario in 1843, Elijah McCoy’s parents were slaves in the Underground Railroad. Elijah’s father was enlisted in British forces, receiving approximately 160 acres of land as a result of service excellence. By the time, McCoy reached the age of 3, his family returned to the United States, residing in Detroit.
Elijah McCoy had 11 sisters and brothers. In 1868, this ingenious inventor married his wife, Elizabeth Ann Stewart. After four years together, his wife suddenly died. A year later, he met his second wife, Eleanora Delaney but failed to have any children. By the time Elijah McCoy was the age of 15, he had worked as an apprentice and mechanical engineer in Edinburg, Scotland. In the following months, he returned to Michigan to seek a new job. This led him to become an oiler and locomotive fireman. His primary responsibilities were in train’s bearings, axles, moving engine parts and refueling.
Through his extensive training and experience, he discovered a solution for engines that suffered from overheating and lubrication problems. This lead to his invention of a steam lubricator engine that would allow the train to stop periodically, lubricate, and avoid overheating. This engine made used of steam pressure to impel oil when needed.
The Lubricator Invention of Elijah McCoy
The invention of Elijah McCoy resulted in his first patent issued in 1872. As the years passed by, Elijah McCoy exerted additional efforts in improving his designs. The shipping lines and railroad also made use of the lubricator invention, promoting the efficiency and effectiveness of his invention. Elijah McCoy later became a railroad consultant to the industry and focused on shipping lines.
The Final Years of Elijah McCoy
In 1920, Elijah McCoy opened his first manufacturing firm. He soon thereafter encountered many financial, physical, and mental issues. By October 10, 1929, Elijah McCoy died from dementia in Eloise Infirmary in Michigan, caused by severe hypertension.
The lubricator invention of Elijah McCoy will serve as his legacy throughout the world and he will never be forgotten by those people who become part of his manufacturing company and legacy.