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Franz Joseph
Franz Joseph as he appeared in 1994
Franz Joseph at Miramar NAS, in July 1975, with his STAR TREK Blueprints on the wall behind him. Photo courtesy of Greg Weir Franz Joseph at Miramar NAS, in July 1975, with the case of "Pardon Me, Is This Planet Taken?" Photo courtesy of Greg Weir

Franz Joseph Schnaubelt (1914-1994) is best known to Star Trek fans as author of the Star Trek Blueprints (also known as the "Booklet of General Ship's Plans") (Ballantine Books, 1975) and the Star Fleet Technical Manual (Ballantine Books, 1975),

The Star Trek Blueprints were the definitive guide to the exterior and interior of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 as it appeared in the original Star Trek television series. Fans could learn for the first time what the spheres at the front end of the warp engines were called, and what path a turbolift would take from the bridge to the hangar deck.

The Star Fleet Technical Manual was the definitive guide to the technology of the Star Trek universe during the original Star Trek television series. Fans could find out for the first time what all the controls on a tricorder were for, and that there were starships in the Federation Star Fleet that were of different designs than the Enterprise.

Whereas the more recent Star Trek technical publications have been largely produced with computer assistance, Franz Joseph created the Star Trek Blueprints and Star Fleet Technical Manual entirely by hand. According to an interview given by Paul Newitt in a June 1984 special issue of Enterprise Incidents, Franz Joseph spent 252 hours researching and 248 hours drawing the Star Trek Blueprints, and 400 hours researching and 1,000 hours drawing the Star Fleet Technical Manual.

Franz Joseph's BGP and TM were a huge hit with science-fiction and Star Trek fans. Both made the New York Times Bestsellers list, and the works became the model for countless science-fiction "technical" publications that followed.

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