Wednesday, May 20, 2009

1967 Popular Science article

(Click on images to view full-size.)
Originally published in the December 1967 issue of Popular Science.

Star Trek's technology, grounded as it was in scientific theory and mixed with imaginative and logical design, ignited a burning interest in the viewers to know more. Unusual for a show of the time period and even long after; how many articles did you see on the science of "Lost In Space"? I was captivated by the ships and gadgets also; the first picture I ever drew of the show was the Enterprise, and I continued to do so for years as I became more familiar with it. It really was one of the stars of the show as far as I was concerned.
I loved that kind of thing so much, that one day in 1974 I wore my newly-acquired AMT Star Trek Exploration Set to school... the phaser and communicator on my belt (attached with velcro, just like the show) and a hand-made insignia pinned to my shirt. Yes, I was a geek before people knew what to call them, but it did attract the interest of a couple of like-minded students who became my Trekker pals. (Nowadays, it would result in being suspended for bringing a "weapon" to school and possibly triggering an evacuation and SWAT Team incident). But, to a small group of other teens I was cool since I was always bringing fun mags like Famous Monsters and The Monster Times to school with me, which they all gathered around and read in study hall. My drawings were always passed around with exclamations of their coolness.
Bonus: Below, a painting of our lovely lady by Andy Probert, from the set that you could buy in the early 70's from Lincoln Enterprises. You can see some others as they are in frames on my wall, in the picture here. Andy, of course, went on to design the movie version of the ship based on drawings by Matt Jefferies, the ships' original creator.
And below, from a far less accomplished artist (namely, me), a drawing of the ship from memory, made one day in 1974 (when I was 15) as I sat in the library at school during lunch break. The Klingon ship I did have a reference for, as I looked at the illustration in "The Making of Star Trek" a day or two later, adding it to the drawing.
I was a relative late-comer to the show, but like many people, came to know and love it during the re-run popularity it began to have in the early 70's. One early exposure was the Gold Key comic book, and the first issue I ever bought, #20... the cover of which I scanned in for you below. It further whetted my appetite for the real thing, as did the James Blish books, causing me to start sneaking in any episodes I could catch on TV when I could, and saving any magazine or newspaper articles I found... which is what this blog is all about sharing now.

Man, this takes me back... to when I bought it in September of 1973, to be exact. Nothing quite as exciting as a zero-G fight using vacuum cleaners!

The crew reacts as the young Kirk gets the snot beat
out of him again in the new movie about their exploits.


Jay said...

Great stuff today, Frederick, as usual. I had a few Gold Key comics here and there when I was a kid, and have five of the reprint collections, hoping the sixth will eventually be published (I've had itr preordered through Amazon for months).

I'm loving that great Andy Propert painting, which I have somehow never seen before, but what's really wowing me is that terrific publicity shot of De Kelley with all his medical gizmos. I've never seen that before either - and I've seen a lot!

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for posting the Popular Mechanics item. That kind of article is a true time capsule of ST as seen by the culture beyond, at the time.

John G7

chunky B said...

Wow Frederick a lot of great stuff on this post!

The Popular Mechanics article was just the type of thing I would love to see, some pop culture in my Dad's magazines, something for everyone.

And that painting by Propert that is beautiful!

Frederick said...

Thanks, all, for the comments! Glad you are enjoying seeing this stuff. Unless we do this kind of thing, some of these items wouldn't be seen outside our own collections. This way we get to share and sahre alike.

I get excited when going through my stuff looking for stuff to post that I had forgotten about or hadn't actually seen in years myself.