3122 Florence

Not to be confused with 321 Florentine, nor the city of Florence, Italy.

This minor planet is named after Florence Nightingale (1820 – 1910), an English nurse, social reformer, and early statistician. She served as a manager and trainer of nurses during the Crimean War, where she advocated for sanitation procedures to great effect. Later, she established the nursing school at St. Thomas Hospital (today called the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care), and she did much for the professionalization of the nursing profession. She also participated in the women's movement and made important feminist writings.

At the time, she became sort of a mythic figure to those whom she treated, and she acquired the moniker "The Lady with the Lamp." This mythicization continues today - her name is nearly synonymous with "nurse" in the common mind.

The symbol of this minor planet is a depiction of an oil lamp with a snake facing inward on the right. Its form resembles a teacup with a Vestan plume of smoke rising from it. It is a dual reference: the snake paired with her personal icon symbolizes her role as a medical professional, and the general shape evokes the symbol for 10 Hygiea, herself a mythical woman of medicine.


Above: "The Lady with the Lamp", 1891, Henrietta Rae

This minor planet has two tiny moons, both of which are unnamed. I propose that the smaller inner moon be named Florence I Verney, after Frances Parthenope Verney née Nightingale, her sister. I would have suggested Parthenope, but that would have caused a name collision with the minor planet 11 Parthenope. The symbol of this minor planet moon is that of Florence, with the snake removed, and a tiny Parthenopean fish in place of the plume.

Similarly, I propose the larger outer moon be named Florence II Frances after Frances Nightingale née Smith, her mother. The symbol is as that of Verney, with a tiny starburst replacing the plume, referencing Juno and motherhood.

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