Scotty’s Engineering “Ruler” — From the Phase II Prop Closet

 Scotty's Ruler (from Profiles in History Auction Catalog)


This engineering tool has been a bit of mystery.  It was sold back in December of 2001 as part of “Profiles in History Auction 10.”  Many of the items in this auction came from the personal collection of Star Trek’s late Art Director Mr. Matt Jefferies.  The auction catalog had a short blurb about the item on page 42:

Scotty's Ruler (from Profiles in History Auction Catalog)


(NBC-TV, 1966-69 ) 16 in. x 2 in. clear Lexan “ruler” with green

portion at one end, and four yellow squares at the other.  Comes

with a letter of provenance from set decorator John Dwyer.



A few extra higher quality pictures were also provided:

Scotty's Ruler (from Profiles in History Auction Catalog)

Scotty's Ruler (from Profiles in History Auction Catalog)

Scotty's Ruler (from Profiles in History Auction Catalog)


Despite being in the possession of the late Matt Jefferies, and despite a letter of provenance from John Dwyer, I was hard-pressed to find any instance of this prop actually being used in Star Trek.

However, my perseverance paid off, and I was finally able to locate a single scene where “Scotty’s Lexan Ruler” make’s an appearance.  It can be seen way over at screen right, lying on the workbench/tabletop as Sargon and Thalassa (in the bodies of Captain Kirk and Dr. Anne Mulhall) work to construct android bodies for themselves:

"Return to Tomorrow"

(You can see only about half of the prop, but the four little yellow cubes on the clear handle are unmistakable.)

And here is the Star Trek Phase II reproduction.  It’s a clear Lexan “ruler,” with clear yellow cube greeblies at one end, and a translucent rectangular turquoise thing with four black diamond-shaped buttons arranged in their own larger diamond-shaped pattern at the opposite end.

Scotty's Ruler Reproduction

Scotty's Ruler Reproduction

And here’s a bit of an edge-on view like in “Return to Tomorrow:”

Scotty's Ruler Reproduction

As with many props on Star Trek, this futuristic prop is an exercise in minimalist design.  Just some colored buttons, and clean, simple lines.   As with so many of our props, I don’t know when we’ll see it in one of our productions.  But keep your eyes open.

Credit for the fabrication of this prop goes to prop maker Mr. Gaston Huckabay.

As always, questions, comments, feedback, and, of course, “shares,” “likes,” or “+1s” are always appreciated.

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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.