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Science & Nature

10 Famous African-American Inventors

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1. Elijah McCoy


Elijah McCoy was an African-Canadian-American inventor, who was born in Colchester, Ontario. During his teenage years, McCoy studied in Edinburgh, Scotland and returned to Ypsilanti, Michigan. McCoy was known for automatic lubricator used in steam engines.
He continued to improve his inventions and by 1900, had filed more patent than any other African-American inventor. McCoy was inducted to the National Inventors Hall of Fame, in 2001.
The phrase “The Real McCoy” was derived from his name and associated with his oil-drip cup. In 19th century, railroad engineers regularly asked for “The Real McCoy” to avoid getting inferior copies. McCoy later became an American citizen.

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