The name "progeria" (prematurely old) was first applied by Hastings Gilford1 to describe an unusual morbid condition in which there existed a combination of senility and infantilism. Three cases were reported, two of which had previously been presented before the Royal Society of Medicine and Surgery in London, the first by Jonathan Hutchinson,2 in 1886, and the second by Gilford,3 in 1887. Although the case presented by Hutchinson antedates that of Gilford, it was the latter writer who first described the condition as a separate entity and coined the name of progeria.
The three cases of Gilford presented striking characteristic features. The family history was unimportant. All three infants apparently were normal at birth. In one case the mother placed the beginning of the disease at the period of cutting teeth when the child became emaciated and the hair fell out. In general appearance, according to Gilford,