This is Marie Van Bitten Brown, she invented CCTV andtogether with her husband Albert produced a series of home securities systems. Their device was a system of motorised cameras with images shown on a remote monitor (CCTV); a remote control operated door and an audio video alarm system to see who’s at the door before opening. Marie was tired of the slow response times of police in her neighbourhood and wanted to find a way for people to keep safe. Together they completely revolutionised home security.
Sadly that’s where the story ends. There aren’t extensive historical records being made or kept on women of colour in America despite their amazing achievements, especially in 1966. She only died in 1999 but was unfortunately never featured in video or print apart from one NYT article in 1969. This photo and a low quality scan is all that exists of her online.
This is a copy of the couples Patent (number 3,482,037) submitted in 1966. Marie is listed as the inventor on the Patent
Zelda Wynn Valdes was an African-American fashion designer and costumer. In 1948, she opened her own shop ”Chez Zelda” on Broadway in New York City which was the first in the area to be owned by an African-American. She also created one of fashions most iconic outfits which was the ground-breaking Playboy Bunny suit commissioned by Hugh Hefner.