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Phineas GageImages

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Phineas Gage PhotoDiscovered
Phineas GageImages
From the collection of Jack and Beverly Wilgus.

On September 13, 1848, a 25-year-old railroad foreman named Phineas Gage was injured in a horrific accident. While using an iron rod to tamp explosive powder into a hole, the powder ignited and sent the 43-inch long rod hurtling upward. The rod pierced through Gage's cheek, passing though the frontal lobe of his brain before exiting the top of his skull and landing approximately 80 feet away.

Amazingly, Gage not only survived the accident, he also went on to become one of the earliest and most famous cases in the then just emerging field of neurology.

Until recently, there were no known photographs of Gage. In 2009, a daguerreotype portrait depicting Gage was discovered after vintage photo collectors posted the picture to a social sharing website. Since then, another photograph of Gage owned by members of his family has also been made public.

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