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A Black Woman Invented the First Home Security System With TV Surveillance in 1966

Marie Van Brittan Brown, inventor of the first home security system

Marie Van Brittan Brown, born on January 7, 1922, was an African American nurse and inventor from Queens, New York City. In 1966, at the age of 44, she came up with the brilliant idea to create a unique home surveillance device with a closed circuit television security system.
She and her husband, Albert L. Brown, applied for the patent and invented a system with a motorized camera that could show images on a monitor. That patent (#3,482,037) was eventually granted, and her invention went on to become a technological precursor to how modern day home security systems would be designed.

Brown's invention had very unique features for the time; The motorized camera at the door could slide up and down to look out of four peepholes. Anything the camera captured would be displayed on a monitor. Her system also included a radio-controlled lock that would allow the front door to remotely unlocked, and an audio-video alarm system that could be used to see and communicate with whoever was at the door.

For her genius invention, which obviously contributed to the future of home security systems, Brown was given a prestigious award by the National Scientists Committee (NSC). But for the most part, her invention has gone unnoticed and undocumented by the mainstream media and literature.

Sadly, Marie Van Brittan Brown died on February 2, 1999 at the age of 77-years old.