Spock’s Other Slide Rule: a “Jeppesen (Warner) Model B-1 Slide Graphic Vector Computer”

 

As long as I had a post about Mister Spock’s Jeppesen CSG-1 aviation slide rule: 

Mister Spock with CSG-1

…it probably makes sense to talk about Spock’s other slide rule that we saw in a few Star Trek epiosdes.  He used a different (yet nevertheless remarkably similar) device in a few other Trek episodes.  Specifically, we see a Model B-1 Slide Graphic Vector Computer lying on the table top near navigator Dave Bailey in “The Corbomite Maneuver” (Episode 3).  (Side note: this was back when the Briefing Room tabletop was still gray instead of the light peach-beige color it later became.) 

Jeppesen B-1 in the Briefing Room

Like the CSG-1, this Model B-1 was made by Jeppesen & Company in Denver, Colorado. The Model B-1 Vector Computer was originally made by Warner Instruments in Chicago, Illinois in 1962, but Jeppsen bought the rights to make and sell this clever device and started making their own “Jeppesen Improved Model B-1 Computer”–which is what we see on Star Trek.  We also see some unnamed Engineering-division crewwoman carrying one in the corridor in the same episode (‘way over at screen left):

Jeppesen B-1 in the Ship's Corridor

It also shows up a third time in this episode when a Command-division ensign carries one on the bridge:

Jeppesen B-1 on the Bridge

We get a pretty good look at this device in “Mudd’s Women” (Episode 4) when Mister Spock uses it on the bridge to make some computations:

Spock with Jeppesen B-1

Spock with Jeppesen B-1

But probably the best look we get at this thing is in “Who Mourns for Adonais” (Episode 33):

Spock with Jeppesen B-1

…and a blow up of the same view:

Spock with Jeppesen B-1 (Blow-Up)

(You can see the big “J” in Jeppesen’s old corporate logo ‘way down at the bottom of the device.)

The Jeppesen Model B-1 Slide Graphic Vector Computer is much harder to find than a CSG-1.  These things seldom show up on ebay.  They are about twice the size of a CSG-1.

As was mentioned in the earlier CSG-1 post, both Gene Roddenberry and Matt Jefferies were accomplished pilots, so it’s very likely this prop was actually one of their very own personal navigation piloting tools.

What made the Model B-1 Slide Graphic Vector Computer nice as a prop–probably nicer than the CSG-1–was its larger size; also, it had a bright yellow ring–perfect for color televisions in 1966. The Model B-1 also has a red and black wind vector arm “spinner” on one side that adds a splash of color (although this “spinner” is really only barely visible in that one shot from “Mudd’s Women”).

Here are some shots of my vintage Jeppesen Model B-1 Slide Graphic Vector Computer.

Here’s a shot of the front (the “Vector Computer Side”) with the Vector Card completely removed from the Circular Slide Rule “wheel” portion.

Star Trek Phase II Prop: Jeppesen B-1

And here’s a shot of the Circular Slide Rule and the reverse side of the Vector Card in their disassembled states:

Star Trek Phase II Prop: Jeppesen B-1

Here’s a shot of the Vector Card sliding through the Circular Slide Rule “wheel,” just as it does in “Who Mourns for Adonais:”

Star Trek Phase II Prop: Jeppesen B-1

And here’s a shot of the Vector Card inserted into the Circular Slide Rule “wheel” in an “flipped” (backwards) position–just as was accidentally done in “Mudd’s Women:”

Star Trek Phase II Prop: Jeppesen B-1

Lastly, here’s a shot that compares a larger “Navigator” size Jeppesen CSG-2 with a much harder to find Model B-1 and a somewhat hard to find smaller “Pocket” size CSG-1:

Star Trek Phase II Props: Jeppesen Flight Computers

Anyway, between the Jeppesen B-1 and the Jeppesen CSG-1, Mister Spock and the other Enterprise crewmembers have plenty of handheld doodads with which to keep themselves occupied as they go about their important Starfleet computational tasks.

Interested in chatting about this item for some unfathomable reason?  Ongoing discussions can be found on our Star Trek  Phase II Internet Forums here:

http://forums.startreknewvoyages.com/index.php?topic=4444.0

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About Gregory L. Schnitzer

Gregory L. Schnitzer is Co-Executive Producer on the fan-based Internet series Star Trek Phase II (formerly known as Star Trek New Voyages). Greg is a Registered Nurse and is generally in charge of Emergency Medical Services at the Star Trek Phase II shoots. He also generally serves as the production's Property Master and on-again, off-again Set Decorator. Born and raised in the beautiful but smoggy San Fernando Valley (which he still calls "home"), in real life, Greg is a Registered Nurse and Certified Six Sigma Black Belt, and currently works in the field of Health Information Management at various facilities and in various capacities in the Washington, D.C., greater metropolitan region.