Beautifully engraved stock certificate from the Communications Satellite Corporation (COMSAT)
in 1974. This historic document was printed by the American Banknote Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of an allegorical woman in space with the earth in the background. This item has the printed signatures of the Company’s President and Secretary and is over 42 years old. This certificate is very hard to find.
Based in Bethesda, Maryland, COMSAT employed some 1,600 people and focused on international satellite communications services and digital networking services and technology. COMSAT is the U.S. signatory to INTELSAT, a 143-member nation organization that served more than 180 countries, and INMARSAT, which provides mobile satellite communications worldwide, and was the largest provider of space segment capacity in these organizations. COMSAT offered voice, data and video transmission services for its customers, which included telecommunications carriers, private-network providers, multinational corporations, the U.S. government and a variety of broadcasting organizations.
COMSAT's digital networking services business operated in 11 countries, and provided its customers in rapidly growing international markets with start-to-finish networking solutions.
On September 18, 1999, Comsat was acquired by the Lockheed Martin Corporation .
Key events in Comsat history:
President Kennedy calls for international satellite communications system.
Congress passes Communications Satellite Act. The Communications Satellite Corp. (Comsat) is born.
Comsat launches Early Bird, the first satellite designed for commercial communciations.
Comsat joins IBM Corp. and Aetna Life & Casualty Co. to form Satellite Business Systems (SBS), a network for private data and television communications.
Comsat drops out of money-losing SBS after an investment of $250 million.
Comsat abandons plans to enter the direct broadcast satellite television market, which now has 7 million customers.
Comsat acquires a majority share of the NBA's Denver Nuggets, an example of the company's move into the sports and entertainment industry.
Comsat President Bruce L. Crockett becomes CEO and increases the company's investment in entertainment.
In July, Comsat announces that its entertainment holdings lost $6.4 million for the quarter. Crockett resigns and Betty C. Alewine is his successor.
On the beam: One of the satellite dishes in Montgomery County that form part of Comsat's core business.
Prepared: Comsat CEO Betty Alewine reportedly positioned the company for a takeover.
Satellite history: Comsat's laboratories in Clarksburg contain models of communications satellites.
Comsat was acquired by Lockheed Martin Corporation.