Among the many contributions to the Industrial Revolution few are more important than the lubricating cup, invented by Elijah McCoy. He was born in Canada, educated in Scotland and made Ypsilanti his home. As a fireman on the Michigan Central Railroad, it became clear to him that too much time was wasted on the process of oiling the engines. His invention, patented in 1872 was a cup attached to the machinery which enabled it to run efficiently without interuption.
McCoy had over forty patents during his lifetime. His inventions were so popular with industrialists, that when inquiring about a device, they always wanted to be sure that it was the "real McCoy."
Elijah McCoys parents had earlier escaped to Canada on the Underground Railroad. The family moved to Ypsilanti in the early 1850s. His father was a skilled cigar maker who had purchased his own freedom. Using his trade as a cover, he hid many runaway slaves in the false bottom of his wagon as he traveled to Detroit with his cargo of cigars.
In Michigan: In 1863, Company K, the first Michigan Colored Regiment was formed. By the end of the Civil War, more than 1,600 men had fought in the black units from Michigan.
American Events: In 1896, during President William McKinley's term of office, the Hawaiian Islands became American
possessions through an annexation treaty.
Donated by The Depot Town Association - 1998