The Gage Accident
— Cavendish —
On 13th September 1848, Phineas P. Gage, a railroad construction foreman from Lebanon (NH), suffered massive brain damage when a 3ft 7in (107 cm) long, 13¼ Pound (6 kg) tamping iron was accidentally blown completely through his head.
Under the care of Dr John Martyn Harlow, the Cavendish physician, Gage soon recovered physically but was mentally greatly changed. Once an efficient and capable foreman, he was now increasingly erratic, irritable and profane. His employers could not reinstate him and his friends observed that he was “no longer Gage”.
According to Dr Harlow, Phineas later appeared with Barnum’s Museum in New York, worked at the Dartmouth Inn in Hanover (NH), and drove stagecoaches in Chile. He died in San Francisco of epilepsy on 21st May 1860. His skull and the tamping iron are in the Warren Anatomical Museum at
Gage’s accident was one of the first documented cases in medicine showing the relationship between personality and the front sections of the brain.
Erected 1998 by Cavendish Chamber of Commerce and Cavendish Historical Society.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Notable Events • Railroads & Streetcars • Science & Medicine. In addition, it is included in the Believe It or Not series list. A significant historical date for this entry is May 21, 1860.
Location. 43° 22.951′ N, 72° 36.5′ W. Marker is in Cavendish, Vermont, in Windsor County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street (Vermont Route 131) and High Street, on the right when traveling west on Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Cavendish VT 05142, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Veteran’s Memorial (approx. 4½ miles away); Abby Maria Hemenway (approx. 4.6 miles away); Bomber Crash on Hawks Mountain / Crew of B-29A #44-62228 Crashed Perkinsville, Vermont 15 June 1947 (approx. 4.7 miles away);
More about this marker. Marker includes a chronology of Phineas Gage's life, a map indicating the location of the accident as well as an image of Dr Harlow and Gage's skull with the tamping rod.
Also see . . .
1. Phineas Gage - Wikipedia. (Submitted on July 7, 2011, by Kevin Craft of Bedford, Quebec.)
2. Phineas Gage - Roadside America. (Submitted on July 7, 2011, by Kevin Craft of Bedford, Quebec.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on July 3, 2011, by Kevin Craft of Bedford, Quebec. This page has been viewed 1,989 times since then and 94 times this year. It was the Marker of the Week December 11, 2011. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 3, 2011, by Kevin Craft of Bedford, Quebec. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.