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Home Security and Monitoring: Then and Now

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From “Door Shakers” to Video Doorbells and More

Usually we focus our blogs on the here-and-now applications of smart home security systems – from their benefits to certain brands to ideal applications within Spring Hill, TN, homes like yours.

Today, however, we’ll look into security from a broader perspective to see how it fits into history. As it stands, we can press one button or speak one command into our automated home security monitoring systems and watch as it responds within milliseconds. But we didn’t just wake up one day to security systems this robust.

Every modern innovation got its start somewhere, and today we’ll examine how home security and monitoring developed over the years and what we expect to see in the future. Take this quick tour of how security systems developed and have since developed into new, unexpected territories.


SEE ALSO: 3 Smart Home Security Features You Need to Consider


Early Patents and Security Methods

Augustus R. Pope patented the first electromagnetic security system in 1853. This early alarm prototype sounded a loud bell whenever someone opened a secured window or door.

In 1871, Edward Callahan took this concept a step further by creating the first home security monitoring system. These alarms used telegraph-based call boxes to request assistance from a central office; this was a primitive central monitoring system used to track signals.

Fast-forward to the post-WWI era. Crime steadily rose, and families tried to find a reliable, albeit low-tech way to secure their homes. Enter door shakers – a staffed, subscription-based monitoring service that employed men to go door to door and shake entryways to ensure that they were fastened.

Wealthier residents attached electromagnetic contacts to their secured doors and windows that triggered an alarm when opened. And believe it or not, staffed monitoring is not an entirely new concept: People using this then-advanced system alerted a guard when the alarm sounded. The guard would then go to protect that home.

The Beginning of Surveillance


Marie Brown and her husband, Albert, were an African American couple who invented the first closed-circuit TV system in 1969. It consisted of peepholes mounted in the front door, through which you could slide a camera up and down.

Captured photos would be sent to a video monitor, which not only transmitted grainy images of visitors to a stationary television monitor but also served as the control panel where the homeowner could remotely control the camera’s movements. Also, this invention featured a remote control to unlock the front door, so Brown’s design also conceived the modern smart lock. It’s interesting to note that though formative security tools had been around for a while, many homeowners resisted them for several decades because of George Orwell’s “Big Brother” symbol of surveillance in his 1949 book, “1984.” Because of this pivotal work, security systems failed to reach mass adoption until the 1970s.



The Future of Security and Symspire


Symspire stays educated about the newest safety devices and implements the best brands out there. As we look into the future, we see further developments in the security sector that we can’t wait to share with you.

For example, CES 2020 displayed home-assistant robots that capture security images. And as Wi-Fi 6 nears mass adoption, more security devices than ever can run concurrently and much faster than ever.

Ready to make your Spring Hill-area property safer and more secure with scalable home security monitoring? Call us today at (615) 332-0093, chat with us using the button at the bottom of your browser, or use our contact form. We can’t wait to hear from you.

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