The museum had a decent picture of Elijah McCoy. He was a black inventor.
Elijah McCoy was born in Colchester, Ontario in 1844. His parents were slaves that escaped from Kentucky. In 1847, his parents came to the United States and settled in Ypsilanti, MI. At the age of 15, he went to Edinburgh, Scotland where he learned to become a mechanical engineer.
He returned to Michigan but he could only find work as an oilman and fireman for the Michigan Central Railroad. He had a small machine shop in Ypsilanti where he worked on little inventions. One of his best known was the self-lubricator pictured above. It reduced the number of required stops for trains and increased profits. It was because of him that we got the term "the Real McCoy".
Upon his death, he was responsible for 57 patents. He died at the age of 85 in Detroit, MI.