Unable To Trust That Her Family Was Safe, She Invented Home Safety

security camera
Alyssa Guznik
February 10, 2023

Before 1966, there was no way to see or protect your space when you weren’t around. Break-ins, robberies, and the like would often go unsolved without eyewitness testimony. Marie Van Britton Brown completely changed history with her invention.

Brown was no stranger to security risks in her neighborhood. Change and protests would sometimes cause violence to fill the streets. Since both she and her husband worked unconventional hours, Brown wanted a way to feel safer.

In 1966, Brown, with the help of her electrician husband, developed an intricate system. Composed of three peepholes, a wireless video connection, a sliding camera, a speaker function, and the ability to alert first responders, she had created the first closed-circuit system.

They applied for a patent and were approved in 1969. Brown shopped her invention around but found that many thought installing her device was cost-prohibitive. Over fifty years later, home security is a $4.8 billion industry.

Sadly, Brown never realized the popularity or wealth that would come with her invention. She passed six years before home CCTV became common and affordable. Still, her creation has helped keep us safe. Where would we be without her brilliance?

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