Even the most basic of modern-day home security systems is still pretty advanced. What with security cameras you can control via your smart phone and watch the goings on from wherever you are in the world, to dog cameras that allow you to talk to your pets when you’re not there to ease their anxiety. But have you ever stopped to consider the history of home security systems?
Since the dawn of time no doubt, trespassers will have been trying to breach their neighbour’s land to take what isn’t theirs. Indeed, without any kind of security system in place, your home and possessions therein were open targets to anyone who might want to lay their hands on them. So it’s no surprise that civilisations several thousand years ago started defining ways to protect their things. Here is a little more about how some systems we still use today first came about…
The first metal locks were invented by the Ancient Romans but they were actually piggy-backing off the back of the wooden locks devised by the Ancient Egyptians. Ancient Egypt is a society well-known for its engineering successes so it is no real surprise they devised the first locks. Theirs were an elaborate system of wooden pins affixed to the outside of their doors which were connected to bolts on the inside. These bolts were what held the door shut and could only be lifted and the door opened when the right key was inserted. As with all technology, the passage of time saw the Romans develop metal locks which were not only more secure from being broken into, the keys were also smaller and therefore more convenient.
Nowadays, your alarm or security cameras can be triggered into action by motion or noise, but what happened back in the day? Well, the absence of sophisticated technology didn’t stop certain clever civilisations from coming up with ways to be alerted when an intruder was nigh. The ancient Japanese, for example, built houses that had deliberately squeaky floorboards so that ninjas could not sneak in silently. And the Iraq people of Tanzania in east Africa used to dig their homes into the sides of slopes so that if they got a raid from the Masai in the night, they would be alerted by the footsteps they would hear overhead!
Before the first electronic system was invented, people had to make do with traps and wires to catch intruders. But in 1853, Augustus Pope patented a new type of system. It was a series of electromagnets that were wired to a large bell that vibrated. The magnets would be attached to your doors and when it was opened, the circuit would be closed and the bell would sound to alert you to the invasion, sort of like an olde-worlde house alarm system. It was further developed and before too long, a central alert system was installed to let the authorities know when someone was the victim of a crime.
This history of security systems shows we have always had to watch our things from those who want to prey on them! With so many advancements made already, who knows what the future holds in terms of future security tech advancements.
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