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Who Invented CCTV Cameras?

The term CCTV was first penned in1942 and it stands for Closed Circuit Television. Over the past few decades, we have seen CCTV cameras evolve into beneficial equipment that is used in many businesses and homes. For example, one may install CCTV to protect themselves from burglars or to prevent vandalism. Business owners might like to use CCTV cameras to secure the premises and ensure staff safety.


Surveillance systems are everywhere these days and you can find them in almost every bank, school, hospital, and business of every size and even in many homes.


CCTV can act as a third eye of security for many people. Most crimes are solved through the use of CCTV cameras. Surveillance cameras are commonly used to prevent crime, monitor the environment, and, most importantly, record video footage that may be used as evidence to solve a crime.



(Image source CCTV Focus. Image shows the HikVision security camera)


The history of CCTV cameras dates back to the Second World War. At the time, a group of German Scientists tried to monitor V-2 rockets from a safe distance. To solve this problem, Walter Bruch created the first CCTV camera. Bruch’s invention enabled scientists to monitor the rockets from different locations. After seeing its immense benefits, CCTV had become a commercial product in 1949.

(Image source: Timeline. Image shows: Marie Van Brittan Brown)


Although surveillance systems worked efficiently, they had a huge limitation of not being able to record their footage. In order for CCTV to be effective, they had to be monitored at all times. To solve this unique problem, Marie Van Brittan Brown who was an African American Nurse from Queens made a few adjustments to Walter's invention.


In 1962 Brown created a CCTV system that could record video which eliminated constant supervision of CCTV cameras. Interestingly, Brown was the first person to install a CCTV system in her house due to the high crime rates in her neighbourhood and slow police response.


The surveillance industry took another 20 years before CCTV systems saw another significant change. The 1990's advancement in technology brought about digital multiplexing. This innovation led to video surveillance systems now having motion recorders and time-lapse.

A major development in the history of CCTV occurred when video cassette recordings (VCRs) became widely available in the 1970s. This technology was quickly incorporated into surveillance systems, offering a new way for the cameras to be used.

The systems could be set up and left to run by themselves now that it was no longer necessary for people to monitor the screens live.

Users could then review the information recorded at their leisure which made CCTV much more popular among businesses.

However, it’s important to note that these solutions were far from perfect. The tapes had to be changed on a regular basis or re-written. If CCTV users wanted to store information for any length of time, they had to keep a library of tapes. Imagine keeping up with this in 2022!

Looking back into the past, you will agree that a lot has changed with CCTV cameras. Now, we have all kinds of cameras and monitoring systems along with alarms and motion detectors to protect us. It is amazing how technology has evolved within the past 80 years.

If you’re interested in purchasing and installing any highly equipped surveillance system get in touch or contact us on 0121 695 1199 and one of our expert advisors can give you a free consultation.


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Feature image source: Timeline. Image shows: Marie Van Brittan Brown

This post was written by Saqlain Shahzad

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