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Image 3: “The Real McCoy”

 Elijah McCoy. From the Collections of the Henry Ford Museum Greenfield Village


African-American inventor Elijah McCoy patented an automatic lubricator in 1872 to regulate the flow of oil to locomotive cylinders and pistons. Railroads insisted that their locomotives have the “real McCoy” and not some inferior imitation.


Questions for Image 3
  1. What obstacles do you think Mr. McCoy may have faced during the time he was pursing his career as an inventor?

  2. Would you consider Mr. McCoy’s accomplishments as an inventor during the latter part of the 19th century to be remarkable? Explain
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