Marie Van Brittan Brown of Queens invented the home security system

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- If you have a "home security system" protecting your home, you have an African American woman from Queens to thank.

In the late 1960s, Marie Van Brittan Brown was a nurse who lived in Jamaica, Queens.

When she got worried about crime in her neighborhood, she decided to do something about it.

Her husband, Albert Brown, was an electronics technician.

The two of them got work.

ALSO READ: Inside 'The Historymakers,' the nation's largest African American video oral history archive
EMBED More News Videos

Sandra Bookman reports on the archive helping future generations learn about the many accomplishments of African-Americans.



In 1969, they submitted an application for a patent for an innovative security system that included a front door camera and a two-way microphone and a speaker that allowed the homeowner to see and communicate with visitors.

It also had a radio-controlled lock and an alarm to alert a nearby security guard.

The government granted the patent in 1969.

ALSO READ | Dr. Patricia Bath revolutionized cataract surgery with her device and technique
EMBED More News Videos

Dr. Patricia Bath was an ophthalmologist and scientist who helped pave the way for future generations of African American women in the field.



Brown's invention paved the way for the high-tech security systems used today.

She died in 1999 at the age of 76.

Over the years, her invention has been cited in 32 other patent applications.

For more Black History Month stories, visit abc7ny.com/BlackHistory.

MORE ABC 7 UNITE



See more stories at abc7NY.com/unite
SEND STORY IDEAS TO EYEWITNESS NEWS


Watch Here & Now
Here & Now episode archive

RESOURCES


We are also publishing resources in a range of areas, which will grow and can be found below:

Ways to Help
Black Lives Matter
Black Voters Matter Fund
NAACP
National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform
Voices of Community Activists & Leaders (VOCAL-NY)
Black LGBTQIA + Migrants Project

Teaching the Next Generation
Black Lives Matter at School
Creating Space To Talk About Racism At Your School
Teaching for Black Lives - Rethinking Schools

Black-Owned Bookstores in New York and New Jersey
Cafe con Libros (Brooklyn)
Grandma's Place (Harlem)
Sister's Uptown (Manhattan)
Source of Knowledge (Newark)
The Lit. Bar (Bronx)
The Little Boho Bookshop (Bayonne)

Books
Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children In A Racially Unjust America by Jennifer Harvey
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism

Podcasts
1619
Black Wall Street 1921
Jemele Hill is Unbothered
Still Processing:

Movies
American Son: Available on Netflix
If Beale Street Could Talk: Available on Hulu
Just Mercy: Available on Amazon Prime
Selma: Available on Amazon Prime
The Hate U Give: Available on Amazon Prime
When They See Us: Available on Netflix

Documentaries
13th: Available on Netflix
America Inside Out with Katie Couric: Available on National Geographic
Becoming: Available on Netflix
I am Not Your Negro: Available on YouTube
Copyright © 2021 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.