The Black Man Enslaved & Freed
Graphic-Lee Speaking is proud to present our: TRIBUTE TO BLACK HISTORY
Black Leaders

Booker T. Washington Frederick Douglass
George W. Carver
Harriet Tubman
Louis Armstrong
Malcom X
Martin Luther
Martin Robinson Delany
Mary MacLeod Bethune
Sojourner Truth
Whitney M. Young Jr.
Marcus Garvey
Alexander Crummell
Ida Wells-Barnett
W.E.B. Du Bois
Zora Neale Hurston
E. Franklin Frazier
James L. Hughes
Charles Drew
Margaret Walker
Mary Eliza Mahoney
Dr. Charles Watts

Buffalo Soldiers
Tuskegee Airmen


Askia The Great
Philip Randolph
Bessie Coleman
Sleeping Car Porter
Carter G. Woodson
Crispus Attucks
Daniel Payne
Madam C.J. Walker
Horace King
Charles H. Houston
Buion S. Bluford Jr.
Rosa Parks
Benjamin Banneker
John Mitchell
The Stono Rebellion
Phillis Wheatley
Frances Harper
Abbe Fisher
Richard Allen
Absalom Jones
Mae C. Jemison
Garrett Morgan
James Baldwin
Andrew Jackson Beard
Elijah McCoy
A. Alphonso Alexander
R. Arliner Young
Patricia Bath
Percy Julian
John Hanson
Lewis Latimer
David Crosthwait Jr.
Mark Dean
Dr. Daniel Williams
Dr. Aprille Jackson
Charles Turner

Elijah McCoy
Elijah McCoy

The noted African American inventor, Elijah McCoy was issued more than 57 patents for his inventions during his lifetime. His best known invention was a cup that fed lubricating oil to machine bearings through a small bore tube. Machinists and engineers who wanted genuine McCoy lubricators might have used the expression "the real McCoy."

Elijah McCoy - Biography
The inventor was born in 1843, in Colchester, Ontario, Canada. His parents were former slaves, George and Mildred McCoy (nee Goins) had fled Kentucky for Canada on the underground railroad. George McCoy enlisted in the British forces, in return, he was awarded 160 acres of land for his service. When Elijah was three, his family moved back to the U.S., settling in Detroit, Michigan. He had eleven brothers and sisters.

In 1868, Elijah McCoy married Ann Elizabeth Stewart who died four years later. A year later, McCoy married his second wife Mary Eleanora Delaney. The couple had no children.

At the age of fifteen, Elijah McCoy served a mechanical engineering apprenticeship in Edinburgh, Scotland. Afterwards, he returned to Michigan to pursue a position in his field. However, the only job he found was that of a locomotive fireman and oiler for the Michigan Central Railroad. The fireman on a train was responsible for fueling the steam engine and the oiler lubricated the engine's moving parts as well as the train's axles and bearings. Because of his training, he was able to identify and solve the problems of engine lubrication and overheating. At that time, trains needed to periodically stop and be lubricated, to prevent overheating. Elijah McCoy developed a lubricator for steam engines that did not require the train to stop. His lubricator used steam pressure to pump oil wherever it was needed.

Auto Lub Component Elijah McCoy - Patents for Lubricators
Elijah McCoy was issued his first patent - US patent #129,843 - on July 12th, 1872 for his improvement in lubricators for steam engines. McCoy continued to improve upon his design and invented several more improvements. Railroad and shipping lines began using McCoy’s new lubricators and the Michigan Central Railroad promoted him to an instructor in the use of his new inventions. Later, Elijah McCoy became a consultant to the railroad industry on patent matters.

Auto Lub Unit Final Years
In 1920, McCoy opened his own company, the Elijah McCoy Manufacturing Company. Unfortunately, Elijah McCoy suffered in his later years, enduring a financial, mental, and physical breakdown. McCoy died on October 10, 1929 from senile dementia caused by hypertension after spending a year in the Eloise Infirmary in Michigan.

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As we acquire information we have found there is an enormous amount of contributions blacks have made to this country (America). In time we will rebuild this portion of our site into categories, so that your search for information can be specific to the time period, pass and present.

It is important for you revisit to learn as much as you can about the black man's plight that play such a big part in America being the country it is today.