Guess who -- or what -- has a birthday today? And it's a big one. It was 50 years ago today -- December 29, 1964 -- that the Howard Anderson Company received the original filming model of the U.S.S. Enterprise.
The 11-foot model was based on a design by Matt Jefferies and built by Richard Datin, Mel Keys and Vern Sions. It was not powered, and windows were painted on the model's surface, with the model crafted to be shot only from the right side. Of course, the Enterprise would go on to be seen in "The Cage" before undergoing some modificiations later on as Star Trek: The Original Series evolved.
The model had been on public display at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum since 1976, but was removed on September 11, 2014, from the lower level of the museum's store, where it had been ensconced since 2000. The move was made in order to prepare it for her new display location in the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall, set to open in July 2016, in time for Trek's 50th anniversary.