Thursday, September 10, 2009
Claude H. Freese
Recently spotted this newspaper clipping from the May 12, 1930 edition of the Galveston Daily News, spotlighting an exciting new aeronautical invention by Claude H. Freese - one that was never seen again.
Freese created prototypes for a number of different experimental flying machines, including U.S. Patent 1,603,384. He seemed to be bridging the gap between the technology of the Steampunk era and the Dieselpunk era, but his hybrid concepts never caught on.
Freese's real name was Claus, and the December 24, 1921 New York Times reported that at in 1918, he'd been arrested as a war criminal during World War I. Apparently he illegally entered Mexico for the purpose of visiting the German consulate and offering the German government plans for a new type of gun. Freese's scheme failed, and when apprehended by the authorities, he claimed to have no sympathy for Germany, and that the whole thing was intended as a "yankee trick" on the Kaiser, as the experimental gun did not actually work as promised.
President Harding released him at the same time as Eugene V. Debs and other alleged un-Americans, stating that Freese had already served enough time and that no harm had come from his actions.