Elijah McCoy Net Worth

Elijah McCoy was a black Canadian-American engineer who had a net worth of $2 million. who invented steam engine lubrication systems. His invention had been given 57 patents. In 2012, the US Patent and Trademark Office named its first regional office in Detroit, Michigan, the “Elijah J. McCoy Midwest Regional Patent Office,” in recognition of his discoveries and achievements.

Elijah McCoy’s Net Worth (2024)

Net Worth:$2 Million
Name:Elijah McCoy
Born:May 2, 1844
Salary:$10 Thousand
Last Updated2024

Elijah McCoy‘s Net Worth Growth

Net Worth in 2024$2 Million
Net Worth in 2023$1.8 Million
Net Worth in 2022$1.5 Million
Net Worth in 2021$1.3 Million
Net Worth in 2020$1 Million

Early Life

Elijah J. McCoy was born on the 2nd of May, 1844 to George and Mildred Goins McCoy in Colchester, Ontario. They were runaway slaves who used the Underground Railroad to get from Kentucky to Ontario.

He was one of eleven children. Under the Common Schools Act, as revised in 1850, Upper Canadian schools were segregated, and McCoy attended black schools in Colchester Township.

He was transported to Scotland at the age of 15 in 1859. He was trained there and then recognized as a mechanical engineer after studying at the University of Edinburgh. George established a tobacco and cigar business using his talents as a tobacconist. Elijah and his family had settled on a farm in the United States by the time he got back in 1859.


McCoy worked as a fireman and oiler at the Michigan Central Railroad when he arrived in Michigan. McCoy patented an automatic lubricator for oiling locomotive and ship steam engines in 1872.

It wasbunder the title “Improvement in Lubricators for Steam-Engines” (U.S. Patent 129,843). He also ran a home-based machine shop in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where he worked on more advanced tasks including making upgrades and inventions.

Railroads benefited from lubricators because they allowed trains to operate quicker and more profitably with fewer stops for lubrication. By 1899, practically all North American railways were using the McCoy lubricator.

The majority of his inventions were for lubricating systems, including one in 1898 that incorporated a glass’sight-feed’ tube to monitor grease delivery rate (U.S. Patent 614,307).

The McCoy lubricator was used on practically all North American railroads by 1899, according to the Michigan Bureau of Labor and Industrial Statistics. McCoy was noted for having issued more patents than any other African-American inventor.

He kept inventing till the end of his life, earning 57 patents, most of which were for lubrication, but others would include a folding ironing board and a lawn sprinkler. He gave his patent rights to his employers or marketed them to investors.

Mostly because he lacked the funds to mass-produce his lubricators in significant quantities. He founded the Elijah McCoy Manufacturing Company in 1920, towards the end of his career.

Elijah McCoy’s oil-drip cup invention is credited with the common saying “The real McCoy,” which normally means “the real deal.” “The real McCoy” had first been published in 1881 in Yorkville, Ontario (presently part of Toronto).

One possibility is that railroad engineers would request it by name in order to avoid inferior duplicates. Another possibility is that it is a misspelling of the Scottish name “Reay Mackay.”

Elijah McCoy, one of America’s most distinguished scientists, inventors, and pioneers, was featured in a 1966 advertisement for Old Taylor bourbon. The Black Rep Theatre in Saint Louis staged a revival of the Canadian piece in 2011.


The state of Michigan installed a historical marker (P25170) at the McCoys’ old home at 5720 Lincoln Avenue, as well as his gravesite, in 1974. McCoy Day was established in 1975 when a historic marker was erected on the location of his residence.

The city named an adjacent street after him. In 1994, Michigan put a historical plaque (S0642) at his first studio in the state. In 2001, inventor Elijah McCoy was admitted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

The Elijah J. McCoy Midwest Regional USPTO opened in Detroit, Michigan in 2012. On his 178th birthday, May 2, 2022, a Google Doodle was released in Canada and the United States.

Elijah McCoy’s Biography

Real NameElijah J. McCoy
Nick NameElijah
Age85 Years Old (d. October 10, 1929)
HeightIn Feet –  5 Feet 10 Inches
In Meters – 1.78 m
In Centimeters – 178 cm
WeightIn Kilograms – 72 Kg
In Pounds – 158.7 lbs
FamilyFather –  George McCoy
Mother – Mildred McCoy
Sisters – N/A
WifeMary Eleanora McCoy (m. 1873–1923)
Ann Elizabeth Stewart (m. 1868–1872)

“Dream the impossible because dreams do come true.”

– Elijah McCoy

Elijah McCoy Social Media Profiles

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In 1873, McCoy wedded Mary Eleanora Delaney for the second time and when McCoy found work in Detroit, the couple relocated. Mary McCoy (d. 1923) was instrumental in the establishment of the Phillis Wheatley Home in 1898.


On October 10, 1929, at the age of 85, Elijah McCoy died in the Eloise Infirmary in Nankin Township, Michigan, now Westland. He died 7 years before as a result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident in which his wife Mary had died.


As of 2024, Elijah McCoy’s estimated net worth was $2 million. He has amassed a significant amount of fortune as a result of his major work as an inventor, and he has left an indelible imprint on the history of invention.

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