First Security System Network

It all started on April 5, 1874, with a nighttime break-in. American District Telegraph (ADT) Founder Edward Callahan created a telegraph-based "call-box" to signal for assistance to a central office. He quickly connected 50 other homes in the neighborhood, creating the first residential security system network.

1890–1920 Roundsmen

ADT introduced the first proactive security monitoring and response service, employing "Roundsmen" to make rounds each night of customers’ homes to help prevent crime before it happened.

Stellar Early Leadership

ADT grew strongly and steadily under the guidance of its high-profile early leadership. Thomas T. Eckert, who led the Telegraph Office during the Civil War and was close to President Lincoln, was one of our early presidents. He was followed soon after by Robert C. Clowry, a colonel in the U.S. military who worked his way up from messenger boy to eventually serve as president of both Western Union and ADT, which he led for eight years.

Central Monitoring Centers

ADT pioneered the concept of the Central Monitoring Center, enabling thousands of customers to link to 24/7/365 monitoring and protection.

The First Burglar System

ADT started its first big expansion in the 1940s after pioneering the first automated burglar system. At the same time, ADT installed the first automated fire alarm system, enabling immediate response to fire.

Secured by ADT

A new ADT security feature gained immediate customer approval: the iconic ADT yard sign, which now dots millions of customers’ yards across the country.

2010–2017 ADT Pulse®

ADT elevated home intelligence when it launched Pulse, the app that lets customers remotely access and control their home security system, as well as lighting, climate control, security cameras and much more – all in real-time.

Creating Customers For Life

Much has changed since our humble beginnings in 1874. One thing that hasn’t is our desire to constantly improve. So we combined forces with Protection 1 to further raise our standards for customer security and service. Together, we serve 8 million customers with more than 18,000 employees in over 200 locations in the United States and Canada.

Learn More About ADT