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When Were Security Cameras Invented? The History of CCTV

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street security camera
Image Credit: KsanderDN, Shutterstock

The ability to monitor a given area wields great convenience to businesses, law enforcement, and even our homes. But where did it begin? When was the first security camera created?

Back in 1927, Leon Theremin made the first surveillance system using just 100 lines of resolution. However, there were complications. It had to be operated under supervision because memory cards and storage options didn’t exist. In the meantime, Soviet military personnel by the name of Kliment Voroshilov forcefully took his technological feat and showcased it to Joseph Stalin. He decided to use it to monitor visitors who entered his courtyard in Moscow.

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Their Implementation in World War II

As many educators and historians have pointed out, Nazi Germany was a time of serious technological progress, and it’s safe to say that the country was far ahead of its time.

In 1942, spectators of the V2 rockets (weaponized military missiles) wanted a way to view the launches from a safe distance. Closed-circuit television (CCTV) was also used on planes to capture footage from dogfights.

security camera outdoor
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Did They Have Security Cameras in the 1950s?

There were indeed surveillance cameras during this era, but they weren’t advanced. As we mentioned previously, cameras were enormous, and there was a dilemma about whether or not to use black and white or colored film to identify people in video footage. Color enabled viewers to see the color of clothing, which could be important in seeing who a perpetrator may have been. However, black and white footage didn’t compromise resolution or sharpness.

When Was the First Home CCTV Implemented?

In 1966, Marie Van Brittan Brown built a security system with the help of her husband’s electrical expertise. The elaborate arrangements contained sliding cameras, TV screens, and microphones to confidently guard her living space. She also added a few peepholes for ease of use and a handy remote that quickly informed the police in the event of an incident.

Eventually, they patented this achievement a few years later in 1969. Brown appeared in the New York Times and was honored by the National Scientists Committee.

security camera
Image Credit: Piqsels

When Were Security Cameras First Used in Stores?

Live video recorders were first used in retail shops back in the 1970s and 1980s when owners wanted to cut down shoplifting incidents. During their early use, they were massive and didn’t have good image quality. To compensate for the blatant size, stores introduced a dome piece to cover the camera to make it look less intimidating.

Still, some would just use a dome with no camera inside just to deter potential thieves. They were also used for keeping an eye on employee activities in case they took any money from the register.shutter camera divider 2

Final Thoughts

We hope that this quick article helped you grasp the history of security cameras. We only expect them to become more popular and advanced as time goes on.

Featured Image Credit: KsanderDN, Shutterstock

About the Author Robert Sparks

Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.