Phineas Gage was a railroad worker who's job was to blast rock away so his crew could dispose of it. His doctor described him as "possessing an iron will as well as an iron frame."
On September 13, 1848 there was an accident on the railroad. While tapping explosives into a hole, something distracted Phineas causing him to accidentally set off the charge. His iron rod shot up entering above his jaw and exiting through the top of his skull.
He was still able to walk and was brought into town on an ambulance cart, it was 30 min before the doctor arrived to see Phineas sitting on his porch talking to his neighbors.
He was brought up to his room for his head to be shaved and examined. The rod had pierced his brain, although he suffered from an infection and developed a high fever he fully recovered physically.
Mentally however, Phineas had changed. People realized he had become fast to anger and increasingly stubborn, one had said that "Gage... was no longer Gage."
Phineas was fired from his job and went to live with his mother. He was killed by his injury, 11 years later. Through his gruesome experience we were able to learn a lot about the human brain that wouldn't have happened without the accident of Phineas Gage.