Charles Frederick Wiesenthal 


Dr. Charles Frederick Wiesenthal is an important figure in the history of the early Zion Church and Maryland.

He came to Baltimore in 1755, as a practicing physician.  While the majority of the members of the Lutheran Church in Baltimore were humble people of limited education who engaged in crafts of many kinds, Dr. Wiesenthal was educated in Germany and did not limit his activities to his professional work. He enthusiastically dedicated himself to the the church.

He soon rose to a position of leadership and in 1769 he was elected a a permanent elder of the church.

Dr. Wiesenthal was instrumental in the purchase of the original lot upon which the first Zion church was built. 

He insisted that church policies be documented and included in the church Constitution.

It is believed but not proven, that Dr. Wiesenthal was the original (deliberately unidentified) archivist that documented the struggles and accomplishments of the early church.

It could fairly be said, that without Wiesenthal, not only might we not remember Zion Church, but it might not have existed at all.



extract from:        


An Appraisal of the Medical Pioneer of Baltimore



...Dr. Wiesenthal is believed to have lived and worked in London for a period of time between 1752 and 1755. He had gained proficiency in English before arriving in Baltimore in 1755 and during his latter years, correspondence indicates that he retained contact and acquaintance with his contemporaries in England....




Charles Fredrick Wiesenthal was a German inventor who was awarded the patent for the first known mechanical device for sewing in 1755. One might argue that he invented the sewing machine. He was born in Germany, but was in England at the time of invention. For his invention of a double pointed needle with an eye at one end, he received the British Patent No. 701 (1755) but after in 1830, Barthélemy Thimonnier reinvented the sewing machine.