Aug 09, 2013

By Andy Johnson

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The term “the real McCoy” signifies authenticity and quality and traces it’s roots to an extraordinary black Canadian inventor born in 1884. Elijah McCoy was born to escaped slaves in Essex County, Ontario. Toronto actor, director and playwright Andrew Moodie created a play based on McCoy’s compelling life. At the age of 15, McCoy was able to secure an apprenticeship in Scotland and returned as a certified mechanical engineer. Among his many inventions was a self-lubricating cup which revolutionized steam engine train travel around the world. His product was copied and reproduced, but when people wanted the superior product, they asked for “the real McCoy” which gave birth to the phrase.
The play, “The Real McCoy” is on stage at the 4th Line Theatre in Millbrook until August 24th. There is more information online at

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