News From Terre Haute, Indiana

July 14, 2012

HISTORICAL TREASURE: Looking inside the history of a medical device

By Dr. Dipa Sarkar
Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Dr. Frank Wiedmann, prominent physician, surgeon, and student of worldwide religions, came to Terre Haute from St. Louis after graduating from Rush Medical College in Chicago in 1894. Widely acclaimed for his pioneering in the field of scientific equipment and their application in medical therapy, he pioneered the use of the X-ray machine in this country and took one of the first X-ray pictures.

He presented two X-ray units and electrical equipment to Rose Polytechnic Institute. He was also among the first to utilize the value of a normal salt solution for a patient at Union Hospital in 1895. In that same year, with the help of two other doctors, he performed the first successful Caesarian section in the state of Indiana. When he retired, after 63 years, he had practiced in his clinic at the Rose Dispensary Building, without missing one day. In 1953, he gave up his Sunday visits.

Wiedmann was a great scientist and traveled extensively all over the world. After visiting many countries, he took note of certain medical practices and brought that knowledge back to the United States, implementing those ideas in his practice. He also introduced music for the betterment of health, presenting a paper on the subject before the Indiana State Medical Society in 1903. His extensive travels led him to become aware of and teach the need for better nutrition.

Dedicated to medical services and humanity, Dr. Frank Wiedmann helped the progress of medicine with scientific knowledge and its application toward improving life and health for many people. He passed away in 1961. More information about the life of Wiedmann may be found in information files at the Vigo County Historical Museum.