Although home security systems today are more sophisticated than ever, the idea for a device that could allow you to watch your home remotely seemed almost unthinkable back in the early 1960s. Some of you may have heard that the home surveillance systems sold today were invented by an African American female back in the 1960s, but that’s not the whole story.

Marie Van Brittan Brown was working as a nurse in Queens, NY, when she and her husband, Albert Brown, came up with the idea for a home security system that would allow them to see who was at the door before opening it. Brown and her husband then filed a patent for their invention in 1966, inscribing their name in the history of the surveillance systems found in so many buildings today.

Like most nurses, Marie did not work the regular 9-5 hours, and her husband, who worked as an electronics technician, was away for most of the night. So, Marie found herself home alone at odd hours of the day and night, and the increasing crime rate in their neighborhood made her concerned about the security of her apartment.

To make herself feel less vulnerable, Brown and her husband embarked on a journey to create an audio and video home security system that would allow them to identify a visitor before answering the door. This device had cameras, two-way communication, remote door locks, and even an alarm button that could send a signal directly to the law enforcement.

Their patent was approved in 1969, making their home surveillance system the inspiration for modern day security system. This infographic by Think Protection goes into detail about Marie Van Brittan Brown and her innovative concept that laid the foundations for the home security systems of today.


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