This Sunday, Aug. 12, the Cavendish Historical Society (CHS) will have a program on the latest Phineas Gage research. Gage was the first documented traumatic brain injury case after a tamping rod went through his head. Working in Cavendish, blasting rock for the new railroad, in 1848, Gage continues to inspire new research almost 165 years later.
While Dr. Harlow is credited with saving Gage’s life after the accident, it took another doctor, Gene Bont, who was the area’s family doctor for approximately 30 years, to find documentation that Gage made his living at times by posing as a curiosity. Bont found a poster advertising Gage as “The World’s Wonder.” For 12 1•2 Cents, “to be had at the door,” you could see Phineas Gage at Rumford Hall where he will exhibit to them, in his own person, one of the greatest wonders of the world! Nothing less than a man who has had a huge iron bar, which he will exhibit, forced through his head from chin to crown; has had, in fact his brains blown out!”
Copies of the Gage poster, 81/2 X 11,” are now being sold by CHS for $5 a piece. Money raised from the sale of the posters will go towards a Phineas Gage website, which will be done by the Cavendish Town Elementary School’s 4th grade class under the direction of their teacher Jenn Harper.
You can purchase a poster at the Museum on Sundays between 2-4 pm or by contacting CHS at 802-226-7807 or firstname.lastname@example.org