WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- Elijah McCoy was an inventor whose name is associated with a pretty popular saying.
McCoy invented an automatic lubricator for oiling steam engines of locomotives and ships. This allowed trains to run faster and it lessened the need to stop for maintenance. McCoy also invented the oil dripping cup.
The saying associated with his name is "the real McCoy. " Why? One theory is others tried to duplicate his invention but it didn't work as well. Soon customers began asking for "the real McCoy", meaning "the real thing."