By Kate Kelly
Marie Van Brittan (1922-1999) was born and raised in Jamaica, Queens. She became a nurse, who like most nurses, did not work regular 9-5 hours. Her husband, Albert Brown, was an electronics technician. When she was home alone at odd hours of the day or night, she sometimes felt concerned. The crime rate in their neighborhood had increased, and everyone in the neighborhood knew that police response time in their area was notoriously slow. Marie wanted a way to feel less vulnerable.
Working with her husband, Albert, the two began devising a home security system. One issue that bothered Marie was having to answer the door to identify a visitor. Soon they had a plan for a motorized camera that was attached to a cabinet added to the door. The camera could move up and down to take views through four separate peep holes. The top spot would reveal the identity of a tall person; the lowest one would show if a child was at the door. The other peep holes could capture any person between these two heights.
A television monitor was placed in the Browns’ bedroom, and Albert used a radio-controlled wireless system to feed the images seen at the door back to the monitor. A two-way microphone also permitted conversation with the person at the door.
Source: America Comes Alive!