"It is common knowledge, not only for pianists, that Robert Schumann hurt his hand with a mechanical device. We know that for a fact, it makes sense, it is a good story: The musical genius, who in order to advance his ability at the keyboard, to compete with the great performers of his time, challenges fate by endeavouring something unnatural, and subsequently suffering a tragic loss. Icarus. But: It's not true.
It's a myth, a great story, but not true. Some time ago, while researching mechanical devises, I found an essay by the British music scholar Eric Sams (1926 -- 2004), who in 1971 (!) published an Essay in Musical Times (an English music journal, in continuous print since 1844) titled: "Schumann's hand injury." That 40 year old and apparently completely ignored essay makes an irresistible argument against the notion that Schumann hurt his hand with a mechanical device. A true myth buster".