Marie Van Brittan: The black woman who invented modern security systems – cctv


Who is Mary Van Britten?

Mary Van Britten Brown is an African-American inventor. With the help of her husband, Albert Brown, she developed the first home security system.

The invention was registered for patent in 1966 under the name “Home Security System with Television Monitoring” and accepted in 1969.

The security system Mary created is a pioneer in modern security systems. Mary’s occupation is a nurse and her husband Albert is an electronic engineer.

Her inventions were the pioneers of modern security systems and were used in offices, flats, hotels, and residences.

Ms. Brown was a very determined and motivated woman. She is described beautifully by the American playwright Wendy Wasserstein, who said.

“Never fail to live up to expectations. Do something great.” Wendy Wasserstein

How the security system was created

We all work zero hours and are very concerned about the safety of our homes. The area is known for crime and burglaries, and the police are notoriously slow to respond. There were times when Mary was home alone.

As a result, she felt constantly anxious and vulnerable. When she opened the door, she was most worried because she did not know who might be there.

Instead of giving in to her fears, she decided to take matters into her own hands and began working with her husband to develop a home security system to ensure her personal safety.

How It Works

The security system they created consists of four main elements: four peepholes, a camera, a monitor, a two-way microphone, and an alarm button that can be pressed in an emergency to notify the police or neighbors.

The four peepholes are used to capture images of people at different heights. The images from each peephole are wirelessly controlled and sent to a monitor placed in Brown’s bedroom. A two-way microphone allows Brown to communicate with anyone standing outside.

If the person outside is a thief or suspicious person, the alarm button can be pressed to notify the nearby caretaker, police, or neighbors. If the person outside is a friend or prospective visitor, a remote control device can be used to open the door.

In 1966, Marie and Albert applied collectively for a patent under the name “Home Security System Using Television Surveillance. The application was accepted in 1969, and Mary would later receive an invention award from the National Science Board.

This security system became the basis for future security systems based on her original features, including video surveillance, remote door locks, push-button alarm triggers, instant messaging to security providers and police, and two-way voice communication.

Early life

Marie Van Brittan Brown’s father was born in Massachusetts and her mother in Pennsylvania. Both were African-American. Not much is known about Marie’s childhood. Marie married an electrical engineer named Albert Brown. Marie and her husband lived at 151-158 & 135th Avenue, Jamaica, Queens, NY. She worked as a nurse and her husband was an electrician, so they could not always work normal hours at the same time. Her mother, father, and grandmother all had the nickname “Dee Dee.” Marie and Brown had two children, a boy named Albert Jr. and a girl named Norma. Norma followed in her mother’s footsteps and became a nurse and inventor. She had more than 10 inventions and, like her mother, was successful in innovative fields.

Brown died on February 2, 1999, at the age of 76.

Marie Van Brittan Brown
BornOctober 30, 1922
Jamaica, Queens, New York
DiedFebruary 2, 1999 (aged 76)
Jamaica, Queens, New York
Known forCreation of home security systems
SpouseAlbert Brown
ChildrenNorma and Albert Jr.