The Big Idea: 7 Groundbreaking Black Female Inventors

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July 9, 2012 ‐ By Terri Williams

America is known for her spirit of inventiveness, and black women have been major contributors in our country’s history of ingenuity. From the resourcefulness of women who rose from the ashes of slavery to the brilliant creativity of modern day geniuses, our lives are immeasurably better because of these 7 sisters and their big ideas.

"Maire Van Brittan Brown"

photo courtesy of Today In African-American History

Marie Van Brittan Brown

Born in 1922, Marie Van Brittan Brown was the first person to develop the patent for closed circuit television security. Her mechanism consisted of a motorized camera and four peepholes. The camera could be moved from one peephole to the next, and the camera’s images were displayed on a monitor. The door could also be unlocked remotely using an electrical switch. Brown’s invention was patented in 1969, and became the framework for the modern closed circuit television system that is widely used for surveillance, crime prevention, and traffic monitoring.

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