Dr. Frank E. Wiedemann Collection
Dates: 1872-1974
Accession Numbers: 810705, 20020917A
Donor: Mrs. Frank E. Wiedemann
Description: One records storage box; one card file box:
                            two scrapbooks (Volumes 76 and 77)


Frank E. Wiedemann was born June 29, 1872 in Harrisburg, Illinois.  He graduated from Rush Medical College in Chicago in 1894 and established a medical practice in Terre Haute. 

Wiedemann believed in continuous medical education.  He did postgraduate work at the Chicago Polyclinic, the New York Polyclinic, the Post Graduate School of Chicago, the Medical Graduate College and Polyclinic in London, England, the New York Post Graduate Medical School, the Philadelphia Polyclinic, the Post Graduate Medical School in Chicago, the Illinois School of Electro-Therapeutics, Harvard Medical School and Tulane University.      

A pioneer in the medical field, Wiedemann was among the first physicians, in 1895, to use a normal saline solution on a patient at Union Hospital.  A year later, Wiedemann and three other physicians performed the first successful cesarean section operation in Indiana.   

Following a visit to Germany where he was amazed by the new X-ray process discovered by physicist Wilhelm Roentgen, Wiedemann returned to the United States and began to work on his own X-ray device.  Several months later, in the summer of 1896,  Wiedemann created the first x-ray machine in the United States using a secondhand storage cell and took one of the first X-ray images in the United States.   

He was one of the first people to suggest the therapeutic value of music. Patients in his waiting room would come in with moods corresponding to the moods played out randomly on a pipe organ elsewhere in the Rose Dispensary where Wiedemann had his offices. According to Wiedemann, “a frolicky tune would set them off while one of solemnity would modify their hilarity.” He presented his findings in a paper titled “Music as a Therapeutic Agent” before the Indiana State Medical Society in 1903. 

Wiedemann maintained offices in the Rose Dispensary building for 63 years and was never absent due to illness.  He saw patients in his office seven days a week from 1894 until about 1953 unless he was traveling. 

Wiedemann traveled throughout his life, visiting Europe in 1900, 1906 and 1913.  Most of his time abroad between 1908 and 1921 was spent in the countries of the Western Hemisphere.  He made two trips around the world but after World War II he traveled mostly in the United States.  The trips were for pleasure but also added to his medical expertise.  He presented lectures on his trips and world tours to the Terre Haute Literary Club and other local organizations. 

Wiedemann was renowned for his generosity.  He gave two X-ray machines and other electrical equipment to Rose Polytechnic Institute (currently Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology).  Several times during his career he forgave en masse the debts of his patients. 

Wiedemann was a professional member of the Vigo County Medical Society, the Aesculapian Society of the Wabash Valley, the Indiana Medical Society and the American Medical Association.  Socially, he was a member of the Terre Haute Literary Club, Knights Templar, the Scottish Rite, Zorah Temple, the Sons of the American Revolution and the Vigo County Historical Society. 

Frank Wiedemann retired from his medical practice in May 1961 just before his 89th birthday in June 1961.  He died on December 24, 1961 and is buried in Highland Lawn Cemetery. 

Content and Scope of Collection

This collection contains biographical materials, photographs, and drafts of Dr. Frank Wiedemann's travel papers and medical papers.  In addition, an unsorted collection of postcards accumulated during a lifetime of world traveling is stored in the back of the box. 

Note:  Dr. Wiedemann's own selection of the best of his papers is preserved in a bound volume in the Special Collections Department: Spc. 818:W

Record Storage Box


Folder 1




Chronology of life

1872, 1961



Dec. 25, l961





Cancellation of indebtedness

1954, 1956, 1961


Clippings and cards






Dr. & Mrs. Wiedemann in China

May 23, l937


Riverside, Reno at dinner table



Portrait 8x 10 glossy



Several small photos


Folder 2

Photos, articles, letters about x-ray apparatus

1894, 1940s

Folder 3

Medical papers


Classification of medicine

A Study of Elimination


The Conflict between the Cave Man and
the Social Man



What the Laymen Should Know about the Heart


Music as a Therapeutic Agent


Medicine Per Se a Failure

A Medical View of Christian Science


Travellers Health in the Sixteenth



What We Should Know at Forty Five

Folder 4

Letter from A.E. Hedback, M.D.

March 30, 1936

"Medical South America" -- pamphlet



"Little Glimpses of Medical Africa" --pamphlet



Comments to Journal of the Indiana
Medical Association on automobile


Folder 5

Travel papers



The Great Religions of the World



So You Are Going to Travel



Ten Years Ago and Today



Women of Many Lands



Seeing Europe Through the Camera



My Reaction to Europe






Letter to J.C. Tranbarger on culture


Folder 6

Travel papers


As I Saw Russia


Observations of Russia

Russian Icons

Observations of Soviet Russia

Folder 7

Travel papers


Glaciers of North America


Mexican Bull Fight

My Impressions of South America

Hawaiian Islands


High Lights on New Zealand and


Folder 8

Travel papers




Straits Settlements





Folder 9

Travel papers




Sierra Leona

St. Helena

Union South Africa

Folder 10

Script for slides


Panama Canal






Folder 11

Mrs. Frank Wiedemann materials





Home garden

1956, 1963-1965

Swope Art Gallery group


Flo Wiedemann - clippings


Mrs. Frank Wiedemann - clippings


"Decorator Showhouse" - clippings


"Citizen of the Day"



Mrs. Frank E. Wiedemann "Citizen of
  the Day" WAAC Radio

June 11, 1971


Dr. Wiedemann's rough travel notes


Card File Box 20020917A


Postcard collection

various dates

Oversized Volumes

Volume 76

Memorabilia Scrapbook


Volume 77

Memorabilia Scrapbook