Finding Phineas Gage:

A time line of our journey of discovery:

December 2008

A comment posted on our daguerreotype set on flickr begins the journey -
" ...maybe you found a photo of Phineas Gage? If so, it would be the only one known."*
Since it is very rare to be able to identify the subject of a daguerreotype we were excited that the identification of this daguerreotype might be possible. The first step was to Google "Phineas Gage" with 84,000 items found.

* The poster of this comment has identified himself to us as Michael Spurlock, a self-described history buff. We thank him for his comment that started our quest.


January 2009

We contacted the Warren Anatomical Museum, Countway Library of Medicine at Harvard Medical School where the skull, life mask, and tamping iron are displayed. They were very helpful with information about Gage. The information we learned convinced us that we did have a photograph of Phineas Gage.

March 2009

We paid a visit to the Warren Anatomical Museum in Boston where we examined the life mast, skull, and tamping iron. Dominic Hall, Curator, Dr. Scott Podolsky, Director, and the staff of the Warren have been wonderfully helpful in our research.

On the left is a view of the museum case where the skull, life mask, and tamping iron are displayed. During our visit he tamping iron was removed from the case.

Used by permission of the Warren Anatomical Museum, Countway Library of Medicine


April 2009

We visited Cavendish. Vermont to photograph the town and the monument of Gage. We were not able to look for the accident site because there was still too much snow on the ground. We would like to make a return visit to do more photographing.

Below is a photograph of the monument to Gage in Cavendish. On the left is a view of the side of the monument and the main road through Cavendish. Below right is a detail of the passage of the tamping iron through Gage's head.



April 2009

We contacted Professor Malcolm Macmillan, School of Behavioural Sciences, University of Melbourne, Victoria. 3010. Australia, author of An Odd Kind of Fame: Stories of Phineas Gage. His enthusiastic support and willingness to share information with us have been one of the high points of our journey in search of Gage.
July 2009

This web site, Meet Phineas Gage, was posted

August 2009

Face to Face with Phineas Gage, an article we wrote on our discovery of the Gage daguerreotype will be published in August 2009 in the Journal of the History of the Neurosciences Volume 18, Number 3 340-345.