There are many
things with the name Rutherford attached which are sometimes assumed to be named for
Ernest Rutherford but which in fact are not.
Asteroid - 1249 - Rutherfordia
This asteroid was
named after the city of Rutherford, New York. The asteroid 1932 VB was discovered on Nov
4th 1932 by K. Reinmuth at Heidelberg, and independently on Nov 29th by G N Neujmin at
Simeis. The name was proposed by Irving Meyer of Rutherford NY, and endorsed by G Strakke.
A postcard, dated 2 Feb 1937, from Strakke to Reinmuth is the stated evidence. (It
is curious that this date is just after the time Ernest Rutherford and his group hit the
international news through Cockcroft and Walton splitting the atom using the first high
energy particle accelerator and Chadwick confirming the existence of the neutron, a
particle Ern had predicted should exist back in 1920. Cockcroft (1951), Walton (1951) and
Chadwick (1935) all received the Nobel Prize in Physics.)
Mineral - Rutherfordite
This mineral was
named in 1851 for Rutherford County, North Carolina. It appears that by 1880 the original proposer,
an American geologist Charles Upham Shepard, realised his mineral was wrongly identified and in fact
belonged to the species fergusonite. I presume the name lapsed but Marckwald didn't know,
so his was registered as "Rutherfordin" in German. In a 1 Mar 1907 letter to Bertram Boltwood, Ern
referred to "My mineral "Rutherfordite" is an excellent thing to work with as it all dissolves in HCl."
The mineral Rutherfordine is named for Ern.
Mountain - Mt Rutherford in Canada
A 2,847 m high mountain, in Canada's
Jasper National Park was named Mount Rutherford in 1954, by the Geographic Board of Alberta,
after Alberta's first premier Alexander Cameron Rutherford.
A mountain in New Zealand Mt Rutherford is named for Ernest Rutherford.
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Ship - HMS Rutherford
This Captain Class
Frigate was a lend-lease ship built in the USA for the Royal Navy during World War II. The Captain
class were named for Nelson's captains, in this case William George Rutherford who commanded
HMS Swiftsure at the battle of Trafalgar.
HMS Rutherford entered service in December 1943, serving as a control ship for Motor Torpedo
Boats out of Harwich, then a channel supply-convoy escort after the D-Day landings.
It was returned to the US Navy in October 1945 and scrapped the following year.
A full account of its service is at http://www.naval-history.net/xGM-Chrono-15Fr-Capt-HMS_Rutherford.htm
Although Ernest Rutherford led submarine detection in World War I, there has never been
a ship named for him. A nuclear-powered, hunter submarine would seem the appropriate class.
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Rutherford Tce, Auckland City,
was renamed so from Oxford Tce on the 22nd of Sept
1932. It is probably named after Professor James Rutherford, a member of the St Jones
College Trust. (It is curious that this date is just after the time Ernest Rutherford and
his group hit the international news through Cockcroft and Walton splitting the atom using
the first high energy particle accelerator and Chadwick confirming the existence of the
neutron, a particle Ern had predicted should exist back in 1920.)
Rutherford Road, Whangamata,
is thought to be named after a Doctor Rutherford, a
local of years back.
Rutherford Road, in the
Peaks area of the Hurunui
was so named in 1964/5 from the access track to Athol Rutherford's property after
the bridge over the Waitohi River became unstable. Evidence should be in the minute books
for the then Waipara County Council. The Rutherford family who settled the northern east
coast of the South Island came from Australia and there is no known connection to Ernest
Rutherford's family. The former were runholders, of whom several were active in local body
politics and one entered parliament.
Rutherford Reserve, Culverden,
was the name given to the Culverden Recreational
Reserve, in November 1997 by the Works and Services Committee of the Hurunui District
Rutherford Crescent, in a recent subdivision at
was so named in May 1999 by the Works and Services Committee of the Hurunui District Council
on the March recommendation of the Hanmer Springs Community Board as having (local)
Rutherford Rd, Ashburton District,
was named after Hamish Rutherford, whose farm
it bisected on construction about 1965 when Hamish was retiring from farming. His family
came out from Scotland to Canterbury in about 1850 and there is no known connection with
Ernest Rutherford's family. Hamish's family history is given in a little book Where the
Willows Weep. For Rutherford Rd turn off highway 72 at the Staveley store into Boyds
Rd towards Mt Somers. Rutherford Rd is about 400 metres from the junction and over the
Rutherford Street, Cavesham, Dunedin,
is named after Robert Rutherford. The name had
been changed from George Street in 1905, following the amalgamation of the Caversham
Borough Council with the Dunedin City Council. Robert Rutherford was the son of the first
Mayor of Caversham, a councillor on the Caversham Borough Council and later a councillor
on the Dunedin City Council. He was also the first manager of the NZ Wax Vesta Company Ltd
of Dunedin. Further information about son and father may be found in the Cyclopedia of New
Zealand, 1905, Vol 4 Otago and Southland, pages 393, 408 and 410.
Rutherford Rd, Queenstown Lakes District,
is at the northern end of Lake Hayes. It
is not known who this road is named for. If anyone knows please let me know. There is no
Rutherford known to be associated with the area. The only Rutherford in the Lakes District
Museum data base is Thomas Rutherford who leased Eichardt's Hotel in the 1920s. So there
might be reason to assume it is named for Ernest but until there is more evidence I have
it in here just as a matter of record.
Rutherford Rd, Moose Jaw, Canada,
is not known for sure as there is no book on Moose Jaw street names.
However there was an early pioneer John Rutherford, whom served two terms as mayor so it is probably named for him.
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