Who Invented the Home Security System: The History and Innovator Behind It

Marie Van Brittan Brown, along with her husband, pioneered the first modern home security system in the 1960s, incorporating features like cameras, alarms, and two-way communication.

Origins of Home Security Systems

The inception of home security systems dates back to the mid-20th century with significant contributions made by an inventive pair, Marie Van Brittan Brown and her husband, Albert Brown.

Brown, working as a nurse and living in Jamaica, Queens, was acutely aware of the security challenges in her neighborhood during the 1960s.

In response to these challenges, Brown and her husband, an electronics technician, embarked on creating a revolutionary security device.

Their combined expertise led to the development of the first modern home security system.

This innovative system included several features that are now standard in security technology, such as a camera, the ability for homeowners to communicate via microphone and remote, peepholes at varying heights, and an alarm to alert authorities.

The Browns did not stop there; they further integrated closed-circuit television (CCTV) technology into their design, an innovation initially used only in military surveillance.

The system allowed for television surveillance of visitors, fostering increased home safety and marking the advent of integrating technology with home security.

Marie Van Brittan Brown’s role as an African American female inventor and nurse contributed a unique perspective to the creation of the home security system.

Acknowledging the significance of her work, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted a patent for the system in 1969.

This patent established the Browns’ significant role in paving the way for the safety devices that protect numerous homes today.

The National Scientists Committee lauded Brown’s impact on home security, honoring her innovative spirit and her contribution to society.

Impact and Legacy

A figure stands beside a door, a lightbulb above their head symbolizing a bright idea.</p><p>A web of interconnected devices surrounds them, representing the invention of the home security system and its lasting impact

The invention of the home security system by Marie Van Brittan Brown has left a substantial imprint on safety and technology.

Originally designed to counteract the slow police response in her neighborhood in Queens, New York, Brown’s system integrated several features still fundamental in today’s security systems.

Her system consisted of remote-controlled door locks, push-button alarm triggers, and two-way voice communication, laying the groundwork for future innovations.

Brown’s invention emerged in an era when growing concerns over urban crime rates put pressure on technologies that could empower homeowners.

Her practical approach to a safer society impacted not only residential consumers but also small businesses, banks, and manufacturers.

Security systems today, often considered essential for home builders, indirectly trace their lineage back to Brown’s model.

Brown, as an African American nurse and a woman, is a testament to the contributions of black inventors to technology and control mechanisms in the private and public sectors.

Her innovative spirit helped pave the way for enhanced police efficiency and spurred a new industry of security devices.

This includes the proliferation of security cameras and video surveillance that now characterizes modern urban living.

Robert McCrie, Professor of Security Management at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, acknowledges that Brown’s invention was ahead of its time, tripling as a crime deterrent, a method of control for who could access a home, and as an emergency call system.

Her legacy endures not only in the devices we use daily to protect homes and businesses but also in the inspiration she continues to provide to women and minority innovators pioneering new paths in technology.