While home security systems today are more advanced than ever, back in 1966 the idea for a home surveillance device seemed almost unthinkable. That was the year famous African-American inventor Marie Van Brittan Brown, and her husband Albert Brown, applied for an invention patent (number 3,482,037) for a closed-circuit television security system- the forerunner to the modern home security system. While intending to find a way to keep the neighborhood safe, together they completely revolutionized home security.
Browns system had a set of four peep holes and a camera that could slide up and down to look out each one. Anything the camera picked up would appear on a monitor. An additional feature of Brown’s invention was that a person also could unlock a door with a remote control.
Sadly that’s where the story ends. There aren’t extensive historical records being made or kept on women of colour in America despite their amazing achievements, especially in 1966. This photo and a low quality scan is all that exists of her online.
Shouldn’t we just be thankful to her for conceiving the ideas of CCTV, considering the invention has been making our life easier in detecting crimes?
Let’s just look at our country. Despite growing concerns about burglars targeting gold-selling shops in Myanmar, most such businesses still have poor security and are having trouble finding well-trained guards to hire. A simultaneous robbery broke out this January in Mogok’s Gold Shops, Mee Shan and Nagar, which faced trouble detecting the thieves after the break-in. It’s very clear that it all falls down to having low security system. Just think about it. If they had proper working CCTV cameras in use, it wouldn’t take them long enough for the investigation to be underway. One Mandalay resident surmised that thefts in general were increasing because people “face difficulty for their living”. Hence, the safest way to mitigate the risks for your business and to guard your customer is through CCTV surveillances and security guards. Better get those in working order now before it is too late. All hail to the lady conceiver of CCTV!