Did your grandparents ever tell stories about home security systems back in the day? Probably a far fetch, unless they meant their guard dog, “Brute,” or gramp’s trusty shotgun. So when did home security systems really become a thing? Here’s the most simple (and interesting) answer.

Way Back When
Believe it or not, the first electric surveillance system in the world was patented in 1853! A Boston inventor named Augustus Russell Pope patented the idea and sold his rights to a businessman named Edwin Holmes. Holmes then founded the first company for electrical alarm systems called the “Holmes Electric Protection Company”.
A Surveillance System Taps Into Phone Lines
Later, his son, Edwin T. Holmes, came up with the idea of using the city telephone lines. It was a huge success in Boston, so he also won the exclusive right to use the New York telephone network too. By 1905, the American Telephone and Telegraph Company had bought the business and linked it to emergency call systems for quick response by emergency personnel.
Hello, Alarm Monitoring Station
Edward Calahan made the next big advancement. (Yeah, that’s right, another Ed!) He got the idea to create a monitoring station for groups of about 50 neighbors. In 1875 he founded the American District Telegraph (ADT) Company that still operates today.
So what happened next? While technology was steadily progressing at the turn of the century, home security Dayton OH wouldn’t really become affordable and widely available until after World War II.
Introducing Sonitrol Home Security Systems
Sonitrol is a surveillance system manufacturer born from unlikely beginnings. Its story starts in the early 60s when an Indiana exterminator named Robert Baxter started installing microphones within the walls of buildings to listen for termites and determine their location.
As fate would have it, Baxter soon met Al Cronk, a local police officer who also owned an alarm company. Cronk was frustrated with current technology and wanted to create something better. He hired Baxter to develop an audio sensor – and Sonitrol was born as a security company soon after.
Shiver Installs Sonitrol
In 1970, Raymond (Chip) Shiver and his father, Rex, established Shiver Security Systems, Inc. and acquired the Sonitrol franchises for Cincinnati and Dayton.
Soon after, Shiver installed its very first home surveillance system. A local man had experienced several break-ins and wanted alarm monitoring. We installed a Sonitrol system into his home. That very night, two men tried to break in, and thanks to the new system, were apprehended! This gentleman has been a loyal client to Shiver ever since (and still has the same surveillance system!)
Next week, come back and find out how Shiver has been leading surveillance system technology and service in our area for about 45 years. We’ll tell you what’s changed through the decades and what we believe tomorrow holds for home security systems.

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