The Creator of Modern Security Systems — Marie Van Brittan


Marie Van Brittan Brown was an African American inventor. She created the first home security system with the help of her husband Albert Brown. The patent for her invention was registered with the name of “Home Security System Utilizing Television Surveillance “ in 1966 and was accepted in 1969. The security system created by Marie is the forerunner of modern security systems. Marie was a nurse by profession and her husband Albert was an electronic technician. They both had irregular timings for being home, and the security condition near their home was not very secure or reliable. The surrounding crime and theft rates were high and the police were notoriously slow in reaching crime scenes. At times, Marie was all alone in their home. Consequently, she consistently felt unsafe and vulnerable. She was mainly concerned about answering the door because she never knew who would be standing on the other side.

Instead of sloshing into the fear and nervousness, she decided to take matters into her own hands and started working with her husband on developing the home security system to ensure her personal safety.
The security system created by Marie was comprised of four major elements including, four peepholes, a camera, a monitor, a two-way microphone and an alarm button that could be pressed in an emergency to alert the police and neighbors.

System invented by Marie Van Brittan Brown and her electrician husband Albert

System invented by Marie Van Brittan Brown and her electrician husband Albert

These four peepholes were used to capture images of individuals of different heights. Images from the different peepholes were fed into the monitor placed in Brown's bedroom through a radio-controlled wireless system. A two-way microphone enabled Browns to communicate with individuals standing outside. If the person outside was a burglar or a trespasser, the alarm button could be pressed to alert the nearby watchman, police or an immediate neighbor. If the person outside was a friend or an expected visitor, the door could be opened through a remote control device.

Marie and Albert collectively applied for a patent in 1966, under the name of “Home Security System Utilizing Television Surveillance”. Their application was accepted in 1969. Marie later received an award from the National Scientist Committee for her invention.

The security system invented by Marie helped in the later security systems that built off of her initial features such as video monitoring, remote-controlled door locks, push-button alarm triggers, instant messaging to security providers and police, as well as two-way voice communication. Her invention is the front-runner of modern security systems and is used in offices, apartments, hotels, and houses.

Brown was a highly determined and motivated lady. Her life was quite private. As I couldn't find any of her saying or quotes I would like to add a quote from a famous American playwright "Wendy Wasserstein". This quote is a clear illustration of Marie's personality

Don’t live down to expectations. Go out there and do something remarkable
— Wendy Wasserstein
Tayyaba Qamar