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News of Gage'sAccident
Phineas GageImages
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The above news clipping appeared in the Boston Post on September 21, 1848.

The article states:

"Horrible Accident - As Phineas P. Gage, a foreman on the railroad in Cavendish, was yesterday engaged in tamping for a blast, the powder exploded, carrying an instrument through his head an inch in length, which he was using at the time. The iron entered on the side of his face, shattering the upper jaw, and passing back of the left eye, and out at the top of the head.

The most singular circumstance connected with this melancholy affair is, that he was alive at two o'clock this afternoon, and in full possession of his reason, and free from pain."

The piece contains a few inaccuracies, including suggesting that Gage's jaw was shattered and understating the dimensions of the projectile. His attending doctor, John Martyn Harlow, kept notes on the case as it progressed, which he later published. While he described Gage as conscious and rational in the immediate aftermath of the accident, the man was certainly not "free from pain" as the above article suggested. In the days and weeks that followed, Gage would lapse into a state of delirium, followed by a semi-comatose state brought on by an infection.

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