Ha, OK, this is the strangest thing. Last week, I was driving around the east side of the Bronx when I found myself in a nice residential area…
I happened to look up and notice the street sign:
Huh. Ampere Ave. Sort of an unusual street name for a residential neighborhood. For those (like myself) who have forgotten their basic high school science, an ampere, or amp, is the term for a unit of electric current.
Curious, I slowed at the next intersection to see what the cross street was…and I have to say, it gave me quite a charge..
Holy crap! I was literally standing at the corner of Ampere & Ohm! (an ohm is the term for a unit of electric resistance). I expected to look up and see a nuclear research lab, or something similarly fitting for such a prestigious scientific address.
Except, this is all there was:
Glancing at my map, I saw that quite a few streets in the neighborhood had electrically inspired names: Watt Ave to the north, Radio Drive to the south, and by extension, Research Ave and Library Ave. How did this come about?
According to the Parks Department, the land was donated to the city by Issac Leopold Rice, inventor and president of the Electric Storage Battery Company, and later the Electric Boat company and the Electric Vehicle company. Because of his background, the city chose to honor his donation with appropriately named streets.
Though this could have easily wound up a Maple & Oak intersection, or an Elm & Pine, can we all agree that it’s really great the world has at least one Ampere & Ohm?