By Chris Brock
Father Vincent T. Freeh wrote a letter Caterpillar Inc. in 1999 about a machine he invented, in hopes the machinery company would perfect its design. However, after discovering his contact was sent to Germany, the letter was never sent.
“This machine, originally called the Mean Machine, as the mean between minimal and maximum mechanization, grew out of my personal experience in logging, saw-milling, brick-making, road-building agriculture, general construction, mechanical maintenance, cabinet-making and rural development,” the Rev. Freeh wrote.
The design of the machine took shape from consultation with various engineers among the Rev. Freeh’s acquaintances, family and friends. He described the machine as a multi-purpose vehicle equipped with spools for hydraulic attachments. In all of its configurations, it functions as a mobile power source and “is key to creating a simple yet extensive system that can handle jobs that typically block rural development.”
Posing with the machine in the image from the mid-1990s is the Rev. Freeh’s youngest brother, James Herman Freeh in Pennsylvania. The Rev. Freeh said a grand-nephew has shown interest in it.
“I’m now thinking of giving him the job to carry the work forward by testing the system my brother John designed to provide differential rotation in making turns in hydraulic drive vehicles,” he said.
Posing with the machine in the mid-1990s is the Rev. Vincent T. Freeh’s youngest brother, James Herman Freeh in Pennsylvania.