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Marie Van Brittan Brown - CCTV

Updated: Aug 24, 2019

Marie Van Brittan Brown (October 30, 1922 - February 2, 1999) was born in Jamaica, Queens, New York City. In 1966 she had the idea for a home surveillance device. She applied for a patent along with her husband Albert Brown in 1966 for a closed circuit television security system. They created a system for a motorized camera to show images on a monitor (CCTV). The patent was granted. Her devise was the forerunner to the modern home security system.

Marie Van Brittan Brown (October 30, 1922 - February 2, 1999) was born in Queens, New York. She grew up and lived there till she died at age 77.

Marie was born into slavery but was freed at around the age of 7. Her education during high school and college is unknown. She became a nurse. A stay at home women who was married to husband Albert Brown, who was an electronics technician. Marie wanted to do something with her life so she enrolled to become a nurse. She was uncomfortable with the uprising in crime rate in her home and in Queens. Thus Marie and her husband, Albert Brown, co-inventor and electronics technician, created a revolutionary device that would protect homes from burglary till the end of crime Created by Marie Brown and her husband Albert brown in 1964; The closed-circuit security system is a camera that can produce images or surveillance for recordings and can save them into the system.

The system included a motor on the cameras to adjust to see anyone who entered her house. They connected the cameras to a TV screen. That way, they could see who came into the house without having to be physically present in the front room. They even built a special mechanism for the door that allowed them to open it remotely. She then patented it when popularity soon spread. This became the invention of the CCTV. Short for closed-circuit television, is now known as the modern video surveillance. This game-changing device allowed the camera owner to be able to view all of the cameras in real time. The CCTV became an instant hit with places that were in need of surveillance such as airports, banks, casinos and convenience stores.


“Inventor Marie Van Brittan Brown Born.” African American Registry,

Moreno, Stephen. “Marie Van Brittan Brown: 'Securing' Homes of African Americans.’” Sutori,

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