In today’s highly technological world, home security systems are extremely advanced. From 24-hour video surveillance to electromagnetic lock systems, the number of ways to improve your home security are nearly exponential. But where did this all start? And better yet, how did this all start?
The history of home security systems dates back to the early 1700’s, where English inventor Tildesley created the first home intrusion “door alarm.” Even though his design was simple by nature, as it was a set of wind chimes linked to the door handle, it proved as an effective tool in deterring home invaders. The latter half of 1700’s also saw the creation and implementation of some of the first door locks, as the lever tumbler lock came onto the market in 1778.
Nearly 30 years later in 1853 in Boston, Massachusetts, Augustus Russell Pope patented the very first electromagnetic alarm system. Pope’s invention is widely recognized as the foundation for the majority of our modern day burglar alarm systems. Gaining increasing popularity, Pope’s invention made its way into New York City, where engineer George F. Milliken built upon Pope’s design by linking the electromagnetic current from the door to windows.
However, the public opinion about electricity in the mid-1800s was one characterized by fear. After all, not many systems relied on electricity during these times, and there was ample reason to believe that having electric powered systems in your home could endanger families.
So how did home security systems make their way into nearly every American household? That feat was in large part accomplished by Edward Holmes. In recognizing the necessity for electric security systems, Holmes began to campaign for home security by flooding the public with pamphlets filled with testimonials and endorsements from people who had the systems installed in their homes. He also created campaigns that addressed public fears about electricity, which helped them feel more comfortable about using electricity.
Years later in the 20th century, electric home security system companies partnered with telephone and telegraph companies to link home security system triggers to emergency call centers. And with some technological advances and tweaks in both design and function, the rest is history!