The original Enterprize was spelled with a "z" and was part of the British Royal Navy in 1705. But wait! No, that wasn't the first one... Because that one was captured from the French who called it L'Entreprise. Turns out that between 1671 and 1846 the French had at least 23 vessels christened with the name Entreprenant, which is French for "Enterprising". Enterprising is defined as having or showing initiative and resourcefulness. It's a good thing that has nothing to do with originality.
|Famously not under the command of Captain Jack Sparrow.|
|Hoping the next warp is the warp home.|
|First Enterprise to be awesome.|
|Oh, C, we hardly knew ye. Which is probably good.|
|I always felt like the D had flat feet.|
|I'll be in my bunk.|
|An artist's rendering since all we got before was a blurry screen in the episode.|
There was an Enterprise-J mentioned in Star Trek: Enterprise, but it ran in the 26th century and we never really got a lot of info from it. It apparently fought in an important battle and had Xindi crew members. Its design is really... pointy.
Along the way, there were several alternate universe Enterprises such as the one with three nacelles in a future timeline, and the ones in the mirror universe. The Enterprise introduced in Star Trek (2009) had a different design from what anyone was used to, but this can be chalked up to alternate universe inconsistencies. I'm just going to go ahead and say that the person who originally designed the Constitution-class died along with Kirk's dad on the USS Kelvin. Probably also along with the guy who made the Original Series uniforms.
So this is a history of the vessels named Enterprise. I was actually very surprised to see exactly how many sea-going vessels were given the name. Turns out our favorite ship isn't quite as original as we thought... but it's definitely the best of the bunch.