Black Inventors Who Changed The World: Marie And Albert Brown
A full-time nurse, she spent long hours away from home and was concerned about break-ins. Marie Van Brittan Brown and her husband Albert wanted to be safe. Their careers kept them away from home, especially with Marie working odd hours at the hospital. They put their heads together and devised a plan that would earn them a patent for the first home security system.
Born in Queens, New York in 1922, Marie didn't take safety for granted. She and her husband, Albert Brown, lived in a high crime area, and she wanted a better way to protect herself and the ability to monitor her home when they were away.
Mr. Brown was an electrician, and together they invented the nation's first home alarm system. The original design included a door peephole, motorized camera monitors, and even a two-way microphone. Three peepholes were included: one for tall people, another for average height, and the last for children that could be used to know who was at the door without opening it. The voice and remote control components came in handy when she wanted to greet and unlock the door for expected guests, much like modern systems today.
They would later enhance their invention by including an alarm and panic button that would contact police immediately. Brown's closed-circuit television security invention paved the way for the major advancement of home protection systems and gadgets we use today.
On August 1, 1966, Marie and Albert Brown filed for a patent under the official title, Home Security System Utilizing Television Surveillance. The rest, as they say, is history.