Geek Trivia

The First CCTV System Was Installed To Observe?

Rocket Launches
Shipping Yards
Prisoners Dining
Central Park
Skywalker Ranch, George Lucas' Massive Movie Ranch, Has Its Own?

Answer: Rocket Launches

Today, Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) is so ubiquitous that, barring being in the woods or on a farm, we’re shocked when there isn’t a camera around. Any time there’s a crime, we assume that a nearby camera attached to a gas station, bank, or shopping center must have captured some footage and, sure enough, in most cases, a camera somewhere did see something.

The first use of a CCTV system wasn’t for catching criminals or keeping an eye on a bank vault, however, but to safely observe rocket launches. The world’s first CCTV system was installed in Nazi Germany in 1942 at Test Stand VII in Peenemünde, the principal testing facility for the V-2 rocket. The system was designed by the accomplished German engineer Walter Bruch and manufactured by Siemens AG. Bruch oversaw the installation of the project and, through it, Nazi rocket scientists and engineers were able to observe the launches in close proximity and in real time.

Image courtesy of recovered Nazi footage via Universal Newsreel (National Archives).