In “Assignment Earth”, a 1968 episode of Star Trek, the Enterprise time travels back to 1968 Earth – a passenger materialises via the transporter wearing a 20th century business suit and holding a black cat named Isis – a constant companion he was able to communicate with telepathetically and which could take human (female) form.

gary_seven_isis

Meet interstellar agent “Gary Seven” (guest star Robert Lansing ) who is planning to intervene in 20th Century events. In the course of the episode, Seven asks a woman who he supposes is a fellow agent – in fact a secretary named Roberta Lincoln – to dictate a report into an electronic typewriter which has voice recognition.

Gary_Seven_Voice_Activated_Typewriter1968

SEVEN
I’m Supervisor one nine four, code name Gary Seven. I need a
complete report.
ROBERTA
Report.
SEVEN
Yes, report. Everything you have done for the past three
Earth days.
(He gestures to the
typewriter.)
ROBERTA
Oh. Everything I’ve done?
SEVEN
Everything you’ve done.
ROBERTA
Well, okay.
(puts a sheet of paper in the
typewriter.)
Well, let’s see.
SEVEN
Not with your fingers.
(He flicks a switch on the
side of the machine.)
ROBERTA
Well, how do you expect me to type, with my nose? Did you see
that? The machine typed everything I… It’s typing
everything I’m saying! Stop it. Stop it! Stop it!
(He turns it off.)
Okay. That does it. I quit!

As to the identity of the real star of this episode, Dwayne F of Vintage Technology Obsessions identified the Gary Seven typewriter as a “Royal Electress” as far back as 2012 …

gary_seven_roberta

I do see more than a few points of difference in the body shape, which looks more like an “Empress” (but isn’t). If not a variant of “Electress” I think we can safely say it’s a close “Royal” relative.

Gary-Seven-typewriter2

I wonder if the TV producers asked for and received a prototype that never went into production?

RoyalElectress

A Royal Electress as posted on the Typewriter Talk forum in 2014

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Postcript: Mystery solved thanks to Robert Messenger. See his guest post: Gary Seven’s Royal Emperor