Souvenir trophy given to those present at the first transmission of the pioneering Telstar I satellite. It consists of a high-quality detailed silvered bronze sculpture of the satellite raised on a curved support, mounted on an ebonized shaped oval base. The trophy has an engraved plaque reading "Witnessed first Telstar transmission, June 10, 1962, Washington, D.C." and another with the name of the original recipient, William J. McManus, then a telephone company executive.
Telstar I, built by Bell Telephone Laboratories, was a landmark in telecommunications history. It broadcast the first live transatlantic television pictures, and also transmitted telephone, telegraph, data, telephoto and fax transmissions through space. Launched to great public fanfare at a time when Americans were geared up to compete with Russian technological achievements in the "Space Race," it even inspired the hit instrumental record, Telstar, that reached number 1 on the U.S. and British pop charts.
William McManus (b. 1900) was a telecommunications executive at Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company, then the telephone company serving Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. In 1962, he was Vice President for Public Relations and Public Affairs. He retired after 40 years of service in 1965, and in 1983 was appointed by President Reagan to the President's Commission on White House Fellowships.
Condition: Generally fine overall, with the usual light overall handling, wear, abrasions, oxidation.
"Appointment of William J. McManus as a Member of the President's Commission on White House Fellowships." Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Archives. 1983. Online at: http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1983/41983d.htm (2 March 2011).
"Telstar." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. 2011. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/586427/Telstar (2 March 2011).