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history of cctv

CCTV systems are a common part of everyday life. They can be seen in the streets, outside people's homes and in most shops and supermarkets. They keep a watchful eye over us and make it easy to identify perpetrators when a crime has been committed. 

As with all modern technologies, there was a time when our society existed without CCTV (can you imagine!) In fact, the CCTV camera as we know it has only really existed for the last 80-100 years. Let's delve into the history of CCTV to see where it originated and what it was used for. 

The first mechanical CCTV system

The first recorded CCTV system was created by the famous Russian inventor, Léon Theremin in 1927. The system was, as you can imagine, fairly simple and consisted of a manually-operated camera that sent images through a wireless shortwave transmitter and receiver, with a resolution of only 100 lines. 

This CCTV system was quickly recognised as something that could prove very useful to the Russian state and was shown to Joseph Stalin, Semyon Budyonny and Sergo Ordzhonikidze. Once they saw its potential, they requested that this rudimentary CCTV system be installed around the courtyard of the Moscow Kremlin so that security could monitor visitors.

CCTV in WW2

Another example of early CCTV was used by Germany to observe the launch of V-2 rockets in 1942. This CCTV system was created by an electrical engineer called Walter Bruch who was one of the pioneers of German television. This CCTV system was very successful and got people thinking about different ways this technology could be used. 

Commercial CCTV

Commercial CCTV systems didn't hit the market in the United States until 1949. The earliest known commercial CCTV system was called Vericon. Sadly, few records remain to explain what Vericon was, how it worked, or what it was used for. We do know that it was advertised as 'not requiring a government permit' which made it easily accessible to home and business owners for the first time. 

CCTV in the streets

CCTV was being sold commercially, so you'd think it would've exploded onto our streets and into public areas... but this wasn't really the case. The MET trialled a CCTV system in the streets in July 1960 to oversee the arrival of the Thai royal family. Throughout the 60s, different cities across the country including Leeds and Liverpool installed CCTV systems to see if they could make public spaces safer. These trials showed that the idea of having CCTV systems everywhere at the time was unrealistic because it would cost too much to wire it in. 

Widespread CCTV

During the 70s and 80s, CCTV became cheaper and easier to install, so high-risk establishments like shopping stores and banks began to use them. Later, in the 1980s, local authorities began installing CCTV on roads and in streets. Nowadays, CCTV can be found just about everywhere!

IDS Security

Here at IDS Security, we have been installing CCTV systems for more than twenty years! We use the most modern technologies on the market and we're specialists in the design, installation and maintenance of bespoke CCTV systems. We work with home and business owners to keep their properties safe. Learn more about our CCTV Systems here:

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If you have any questions about our CCTV systems or any of the other security systems we offer, give us a call on 029 20 753 251.

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