If I told you a 12 year old child invented the closed circuit security system would you believe me? What if I told you it was invented by AT&T? What if I told you the system was invented by a woman? Which do you believe?
A patent for the security system invented by Marie Van Brittan Brown was issued in 1969. 1969 happens to be the year that Yale and Princeton first accepted female students. It was the same decade where women finally had access to birth control and credit cards. But Brown wasn’t just a woman, she was a black woman … in the 60s.
Beating the odds Brown believed that she could create something to help others. Crime in her Queens’ neighborhood was rising and she wanted to create a way for people to protect themselves as she felt that police were slow to respond to emergencies. In 1966 she started creating a solution with her husband and by 1969 she held an approved U.S. patent.
Brown’s device consisted of 4 peep holes and a camera. The camera would slide along the 4 peepholes so that you could look through each one. The camera was connected to television sets so that you could see who was at the door but also hear who was at the door. If you liked who was at the door, you could open the door via remote control. Though she may be the mother of home security, I would argue that she should also be classified as the mother of home automation.