..and by whom?
The very first home CCTV security system was the invention of African-American, Marie Van Brittan Brown (October 30, 1922 – February 2, 1999), who was helped by her husband Albert Brown.
Marie Van Brittan was a nurse and inventor who was born in Queens, New York in 1922. Albert Brown, her husband, was an electronics technician.
As a nurse, she didn’t work regular 9 to 5 hours and found herself alone at home at odd hours during the day and night and felt worried and concerned. The rise in crime around their neighbourhood and the time victims had to wait for the police to respond had become ridiculously slow, leaving herself and many of the other residents feeling more and more vulnerable.
Marie wanted to find a solution, so she and her husband Albert set about creating the first ever home security system.
The biggest concern for Marie was having to open the door not knowing who was there. So the husband and wife team worked on a motorized camera which was attached to a cabinet and fixed onto the door. The camera could slide up and down and had four peep holes to view from. The top hole would show if a tall person was at the door, whilst the bottom peep hole would show if it was a child and the middle two holes would capture anyone in between. Everything that the camera saw would then appear on a monitor, plus the system could hear the caller’s voice and allowed the resident to unlock the door via a remote control.
The system also had an alarm button that allowed you to contact the police immediately if you felt threatened.
The patent application was filed in 1966 and was granted on December 2, 1969 (patent number 3,482,037) and for her invention, Marie was given an award from the National Scientists Committee (NSC).
Due to the effectiveness of Marie and her husband’s home security system, many businesses began to use the system also.
Marie and her husband were responsible for introducing two-way communication and home security surveillance to the people and both features are still used in today’s CCTV technology – providing peace of mind to home and business owners throughout the world.
Marie Van Brittan Brown died in Queens, New York on February 2, 1999 at the age of 76. She had two children, one of which also went on to become a nurse and an inventor in the health sector.
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