Marie Van Brittan Brown of Queens invented the home security system

Sade Baderinwa Image
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Marie Van Brittan Brown of Queens invented the home security system
Sade Baderinwa reports on Marie Van Brittan Brown's accomplishments for Black History Month.

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.

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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.

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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.

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