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THE REAL McCOY by Wendy Towle

THE REAL McCOY

The Life of an African-American Inventor

By Wendy Towle (Author) , Wil Clay (Illustrator)

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-590-43596-5
Publisher: Scholastic

 Concluding a commendable introduction explaining the possibly legendary origins of the eponymous expression in the prolific inventor's most successful device--an ``automatic oil cup, which eventually became standard equipment on most locomotives''--Towle states ``The story of Elijah McCoy's life presented here reflects a composite of existing information we have been able to authenticate.'' Son of former slaves, McCoy was raised in Canada, studied engineering in Scotland, then settled in Michigan, where he invented the oil cup while working as a railroad fireman (discrimination prevented employment more appropriate to his talents); he went on to patent many other inventions, including homely devices like the first portable ironing board and a lawn sprinkler, and to start his own company. Though first-timer Towle doesn't explore the technology or get below the surface of McCoy's life and accomplishments, her account is clear and straightforward; Clay's handsome impressionistic paintings glow with pride and achievement. With nothing else available on McCoy at this level, this will be useful indeed. (Biography/Picture book. 5-9)