Today's Memory

The first burglar alarm

The first burglar alarm

The first burglar alarm

Originally shared by Ed Pearce

The first burglar alarm was installed on February 21, 1858

Augustus Pope was awarded a patent for the “development of an electromagnetic alarm” in 1853. He then sold his patent for US$1500 to Edwin Holmes, a manufacturer of ladies’ hoop skirts in Boston Massachusetts who was a far better publicist. Holmes installed the first burglar alarm.

By 1877, Holmes had established the first network of alarms monitored by a central station in New York and sent his son, Edwin Thomas Holmes, to copy this system in Boston.

Edwin Thomas Holmes’ workshop was used by Alexander Graham Bell as the young Bell pursued his invention of the telephone. Thomas Holmes was the first person to have a home telephone.

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