On September 13, 1848, twenty-five-year-old railroad worker Phineas Gage was struck with a tamping rod which shot clear through his head. He survived, and he kept the rod as a souvenir.
Phineas Gage, daguerreotype, c. 1850.
While preparing a rock for blasting, this 25-year-old railroad foreman miraculously survived when a three-foot tamping rod blew through the left side of his skull. One month after the accident he was able to walk, and he was soon able to function normally despite a paralysis in the left side of his face.
Gage died of convulsions twelve years after his accident at the age of thirty-six. His skull was exhumed and is now housed in the Warren Anatomical Museum at Harvard. This daguerreotype of Gage wasn’t identified until 2009.
This photograph of Phineas Gage has also been our most requested Daguerreotype Boyfriend since the site began. Good taste, everyone!