Hollywood Lost and Found
Props and Artifacts
USS Enterprise Model
"Star Trek" Original Series
Undeniably one of the most famous icons in movie and television history is the USS Enterprise from "Star Trek." The original series, which ran on NBC from 1966 to 1969, inspired four TV spin-offs and ten feature films.
The Enterprise was designed by the original TV shows Art Director Walter M. (Matt) Jefferies, with input from series creator Gene Roddenberry. The ship's registration number, NCC-1701, was inspired by Jefferies' own 1935 Waco YOC airplane - which had the registration number NC-17740.
There are two models of the Enterprise from the original series known to still exist. The main model measures about 11 feet long, 32 inches high, and weighs about 200 pounds. It was made mostly from poplar wood and vacu-formed plastic. The two protruding engine pods were made using sheet metal tubes.
A second model, measuring about 18 inches long, was also used for some special effects shots in the series. It was made with one of the commercially available model kits manufactured by AMT, and fitted with blinking lights.
In 1974, the large Enterprise TV model was donated by Paramount Pictures to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. and has been on display at their Air and Space Museum.
Matts brother John Jefferies was in possession of the smaller model until December of 2001, when it was sold by auction house Profiles in History to a private collector.
A third model, measuring approximately three feet in length, was reportedly constructed by Richard C. Datin. Seen in several publicity photos for the series, this Enterprise model has been missing for many years.
In 1996, legendary model maker Greg Jein constructed a recreation of the original shows Enterprise model for an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine called Trials and Tribble-ations. Science fiction fans had a sneak peak of the model (which was still incomplete at the time) at a movie prop exhibit that I organized for the 1996 World Science Fiction Convention in Anaheim, California. This model is currently believed to rest in Paramounts archives.
For those who want their very own studio-quality Enterprise model, Master Replicas is selling limited edition replicas of the original series Enterprise - including an edition with a plaque signed by the original "Star Trek" series cast.
- Steve Lee
17 June 2006
Whittfield, Stephen E., and Gene Roddenberry. The Making of Star Trek. New York: Ballantine 1968.
IDIC Page. <http://members.aol.com/IDICPage>
Master Replicas. <http://www.MasterReplicas.com>
Profiles in History. <http://www.ProfilesInHistory.com>
Smithsonian Institute. <http://www.si.edu>
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