Marie Van Brittan Brown

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Marie Van Brittan Brown (October 30, 1922 – February 2, 1999) invented the home security system (patent number 3,482,037) in 1966, along with her husband Albert Brown, a patent was granted in 1969. Brown was born in Queens, New York; she died there at age 76.

Brown's system had a set of four peep-holes and a camera that could slide up and down to look at each one. Anything and everything the camera picked up would appear on a monitor. Also, a resident could unlatch the door by remote control. Although the system was originally intended for domestic uses, many businesses began to adopt her system due to its effectiveness. For her invention she received an award from the National Science Committee.[1]

The system included a device that enabled a homeowner to use a television set to view the person at the door and hear the caller's voice.[2] Brown cited the inspiration for her invention as the long time it would take for police to arrive at a house after being called by residents.[1]


  • Social Security Death Index
  • United States Patent Office
  • Black Stars: African American Women Scientists and Inventors, by Sullivan et al., publ. Jossey-Bass, 2001, [ISBN 0-471-38707-X]


  1. ^ a b "Inventor Marie Van Brittan Brown born | African American Registry". Retrieved 2016-02-22. 
  2. ^ Webster, Raymond B. (1999). African American firsts in science & technology. Detroit [u.a.]: Gale. p. 127. ISBN 0787638765.