Monday, July 27, 2009

First Photo of Phineas Gage Discovered

A pair of photograph collectors in Maryland, have uncovered what they believe to be the first and only photograph of Phineas Gage, the railway worker who survived an iron tamping rod passing straight through the front of his brain, following an explosives accident in Cavendish in 1848. Gage’s injuries were well documented and serves as one of the first cases of recorded brain injury. The photograph shows Gage as a scarred, handsome, proud man, smartly dressed, with one eye closed, wielding the tamping iron that made him famous. Jack and Beverly Wilgus originally thought the image was of a whaler, but after posting the picture on Flick-r, they soon learned from experts that this was not the case (it was a tamping rod, not a harpoon, that he was holding), and they followed up on an alternative suggestion that perhaps the image was of Gage. For more information, go to

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