When Were Security Cameras Invented?

CCTV, also known as security cameras, are a normal part of day-to-day life. In fact, the majority of people are thankful for security cameras because they offer extra safety for citizens and business owners all across the globe.

When Were Security Cameras Invented

As society has now progressed to a point in which security cameras are normalized, people tend to forget that there was a point in time when CCTV did not exist, and people were not constantly watched and recorded. 

The history of security cameras is incredibly interesting, and this article explains and discusses when security cameras were invented, as well as the steps that occurred in society that normalized security cameras.

When Were Security Cameras Invented?

Live video capture was used for the first time in Germany, 1942. It was invented by Walter Bruch. This type of live video capture was used during the war, to monitor a type of rocket called V-2 rockets. 

After the war, in 1949, security cameras were available commercially. They gained popularity quickly as a method to increase security.

In the United States, the governmental contractor Vericon purchased the security cameras, which is how it became commercially available in the United States.

In 1951, the videotape recorder was invented. This made it possible to record live images from a television camera.

Five years later, the videotape recorder was made commercially available and it was later combined with security cameras. 

It wasn’t until 1960 that security cameras were made available in Britain. In fact, during this same year, the cameras were used to protect Thai royalty in London.

Security cameras were set up in Trafalgar Square, in London, to ensure the protection of the Thai royal family and that they were not harmed by any of the crowds of people. 

In the 1990s, multiplexing was invented. This just means that multiple signals from different CCTV cameras appear on one monitor.

This was ideal for large businesses that needed to ensure that different areas of the business were protected. 

Of course, in the 2000s, digital CCTV was invented, which will be discussed later in the article. 

How Has Security Cameras Evolved? 

As already stated, security cameras were created by Walter Brunch in 1942. These security cameras were functioned by reel-to-reel recording systems. 

While this type of security camera could capture footage, it required an operator because it needed to be controlled manually.

An operator was required to thread tapes through the recording, plus, the operator needed to switch the tapes. 

While this method of security cameras did work, it proved to be outdated very fast. While videotape recording was invented in 1951, it wasn’t until the late 60s and 70s that they were commercialized, cheap, and preferred over the older methods of security cameras. 

Videotape recording was much better than the security cameras invented in 1942. This type of video recording meant that the video could run without an operator needing to monitor the video recording device. 

However, this type of video type recording is very outdated to modern-day standards. It had many issues. The videotape recording still needed to be changed frequently, so there had to be operators often present.

Plus, most owners of security cameras would need to tape over old tapes, because they would otherwise have too many tapes. However, over time, the tapes would break down. 

In the 1990s, multiplexing was a big advancement and is often featured in movies during the 1990s. In a lot of classic films that involve scenes with security guards, there will almost always be multiplexing in the background.

That’s where you will see security guards, and on the screen are different areas of a location. A common example is a shopping mall, where security guards need to be aware of different locations at the same time.

Then, in the 2000s, digital CCTV was introduced, which changed the way security systems operated forever. 

Digital CCTV 

When Were Security Cameras Invented (1)

CCTV changed forever in the 2000s. The type of security cameras that are now available are far more technologically advanced than what were first created. 

Videotape recording was first replaced by digital video records, which have far greater storage capacity and image quality.

In fact, videotape recording was pretty much never used as soon as digital video recorders were invented, because they were so much higher quality.

Thanks to technology, digital footage can be stored online, which means that there is no need for tapes and tape operators. 

Interestingly, one of the few inventions that have stayed similar to how it was first invented is the multiplexers.

Multiplexers are still commonly used, but they have been upgraded with technology.

Now, multiplexers are built into CCTV systems, which makes them common practice and easy to install. 

In the early 2000s, digital security was extremely expensive. However, as new technology progressed it became much more accessible.

In recent years, there is a range of different technology – some technology, while advanced, can be purchased for a very affordable price. The newer technology is much more expensive. 

In modern society, security cameras can be connected to the internet via Wi-Fi, which means that people can view their security cameras, on a mobile device, or even on their computers.

This has been one of the major developments for security cameras, as it has given homeowners and business owners greater security over their property.

What is more is that these cameras can be bought for under 100 dollars, making home security systems affordable for almost anyone. 


Security cameras were invented in 1942, and since then have been continuously developed to protect citizens of the world from criminals.

Modern technology has upgraded security cameras to give homeowners and business owners a greater level of security.

 It is surprising how much technology has impacted the development of security cameras in a relatively short time, and it is very interesting to see what the development of security cameras will look like in the future.

David Jones