The weekly hour-long Star Trek TV show (NBC-TV), which aired from September 1966 until June 1969, became one of the most popular shows in the history of television. The show's depiction of a racially-integrated, multinational crew of men and women working together successfully, as well as its attention to contemporary social and political issues, pushed the boundaries of network television, earning Star Trek a dedicated fan base.
The principal designer of the Star Trek Starship Enterprise model, Walter "Matt" Jefferies, worked with concepts provided by Star Trek's creator Gene Roddenberry. A 33 inch model mostly of solid wood was then built by model-maker Richard C. Datin under subcontract to the Howard Anderson Company. This model, created as a study model and for publicity shots, did appear in some episodes. For production, however, Desilu/Howard Anderson ordered a larger model, the 11-foot Star Trek Starship Enterprise studio model (held by the Museum since 1974) which was built from enlarging the 33 inch model plans.