Marie Van Brittan Brown: The Home Security System

Marie Van Brittan Brown: The Home Security System

Marie Van Brittan Brown revolutionized the security industry by inventing the first home security system.Born in Queens, New York in 1922, Marie Van Brittan Brown worked as a nurse and her husband, Albert Brown, was an electronics technician. The couple lived in a high-crime area, and Marie felt unsafe at home alone while her husband was at work. The police response time was also very slow in their neighborhood, which led Marie to think of ways to improve home security.

In 1966, Marie Van Brittan Brown invented the first home security system, which she described in her patent application as a "closed-circuit television system for home security". Her system consisted of a series of peepholes, a camera, and a two-way microphone. The peepholes were mounted at different heights to accommodate people of different heights, and the camera could be moved to different locations, enabling the homeowner to see who was outside their door from any angle. The two-way microphone allowed the homeowner to speak to the person outside without opening the door. The system also included a remote-controlled door lock and an alarm that could be activated by the homeowner in case of an emergency.

Marie's invention was revolutionary and became the precursor to modern-day home security systems. Her invention was not only innovative but also practical and user-friendly. Her system allowed homeowners to monitor their homes and control access without having to physically open their doors, thus improving safety and security.

In 1969, Marie Van Brittan Brown was granted a patent for her invention, which she shared with her husband. Her invention was also recognized as a milestone in the security industry, and she received an award from the National Science Committee.

Marie Van Brittan Brown's invention had a significant impact on the security industry, and her legacy continues to this day. Her invention has evolved and inspired many modern-day home security systems. Her story is a testament to the power of innovation, perseverance, and the human spirit. As we celebrate Black History Month, let us remember Marie Van Brittan Brown and the countless other Black individuals who have contributed to our society and have made a lasting impact on our world.


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