The Real McCoy
Andrew Moodie's latest play tells the biography of the inventor Elijah McCoy (1843-1929), whose name became a byword for quality, as in "the real McCoy." The play explains why we've never heard of McCoy and reclaims a fascinating man's life from undeserved obscurity. McCoy, born in Canada to runaway American slaves, showed so much promise in school that he won a scholarship to study mechanical engineering at Edinburgh University. McCoy moved to the US, where no one believed a Black man could be an engineer and so he was set to stoking boilers. Nevertheless, McCoy devised a solution to one of the greatest problems facing steam locomotion that was sold worldwide with the marketers' proviso that McCoy's race be concealed.
Andrew Moodie is a playwright and actor based in Ontario.