By Jay Somerset
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Ever heard the term “the real McCoy?” It comes from an invention made by Canadian Elijah McCoy. His invention allowed trains and other machines to be lubricated while running, and when many imitations showed up, people insisted on the real McCoy. Trains of some sort were an important part of McCoy's life: his parents, both ex-slaves, escaped to Canada via the Underground Railroad. McCoy is also credited with inventing the ironing board and lawn sprinkler.