Phineas Gage memorabilia

Some of the most important items related to the well known case of Phineas P. Gage (1823–1860) are preserved in the Warren Anatomical Museum in Boston.

Gage was an American railroad construction foreman remembered for his improbable survival of an accident, occurred in 1848, in which a large iron rod was driven completely through his head, destroying much of his brain's left frontal lobe, and for that injury's reported effects on his personality and behavior over the remaining 12 years of his life‍1.

Reproduction of a carte de visite of Phineas Gage (1850-1860) and of a reversed daguerrotype of a man believed to be him (1850-1860).


In February 1860, Gage began to experience the epileptic sezures that would lead to his death on May 21, 1860. In 1867 Gage's body was exhumed and his skull, along with the tamping iron, was sent to Dr. John Martyn Harlow who had attended Gage after the accident. Harlow in 1868 authored a report on the Gage medical case. Eventually, Harlow donated the skull and tamping iron to the Warren Anatomical Museum2.

The two parts of Gage's skull examined by Dr. Harlow.


The tamping iron which passed through Gage's head.


Skull, prepared by Henry Jacob Bigelow in 1850, to simulate the Phineas Gage injury.

  • Photos by Luca Ambrosio moc.liamg|sorbma.cul#| (August 2017)

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