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Ypsilanti in Washtenaw County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Elijah McCoy

 
 
Elijah McCoy Marker image. Click for full size.
By J.T. Lambrou, May 12, 2021
1. Elijah McCoy Marker
Inscription.  Canada-born Elijah McCoy (1843-1929) automated steam engine maintenance, previously done by hand, by patenting an automatic lubricator in 1872. By 1926 he had patented more than forty lubricating devices used internationally on trains and boats and in factories. Trained as a mechanical engineer in Scotland, this son of former slaves faced racial discrimination in the U.S. and made his living as a fireman stoking fires and oiling engines for the Michigan Central Railroad. McCoy sought to end the delays caused by frequent oil stops. In his Ypsilanti workshop he developed a lubricating cup that continuously fed oil to steam engines. The inventor’s other patents included a folding ironing table. Assurances of authenticity of McCoy lubricating cups are believed to have been the origin of the phrase “the real McCoy.”
 
Erected 1994 by Bureau of Michigan History, Michigan Department of State. (Marker Number S642.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansIndustry & Commerce
Elijah McCoy Marker (Ypsilanti District Library in background) image. Click for full size.
By J.T. Lambrou, May 12, 2021
2. Elijah McCoy Marker (Ypsilanti District Library in background)
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Railroads & Streetcars. In addition, it is included in the Michigan Historical Commission series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1872.
 
Location. 42° 14.444′ N, 83° 36.928′ W. Marker is in Ypsilanti, Michigan, in Washtenaw County. Marker is on West Michigan Avenue 0.1 miles east of South Adams Street, on the right when traveling east. Located in Library Park, east of Ypsilanti District Library. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 229 W Michigan Ave, Ypsilanti MI 48197, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Food and Drink (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); First Methodist Episcopal Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Michigan Avenue Industry (approx. 0.2 miles away); Power on the River (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Amazing Quarter Mile (approx. 0.2 miles away); Ladies' Literary Club House (approx. ¼ mile away); First Presbyterian Church (approx. 0.3 miles away); 220 N. Huron (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ypsilanti.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker.
 
Also see . . .  The Real McCoy. Excerpt discussing origin of the expression:
The phrase "The real McCoy" may be a corruption of the Scots "The
Photo of Elijah McCoy in library window facing marker. image. Click for full size.
By J.T. Lambrou, May 12, 2021
3. Photo of Elijah McCoy in library window facing marker.
real MacKay", first recorded in 1856 as: "A drappie o' the real MacKay" ("a drop of the real MacKay"). This appeared in a poem Deil's Hallowe'en published in Glasgow and is widely accepted as the phrase's origin.[1][2][3][4] A letter written by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson in 1883 contains the phrase, "He’s the real Mackay".
(Submitted on May 17, 2021, by J.T. Lambrou of New Boston, Michigan.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 17, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 17, 2021, by J.T. Lambrou of New Boston, Michigan. This page has been viewed 39 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on May 17, 2021, by J.T. Lambrou of New Boston, Michigan. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 12, 2021