Named in honour of the American astronomer Simon Newcomb (b. 1835 in Wallace, Nova Scotia, d. 1909), professor of astronomy and director of the U.S. Nautical Almanac Office. Newcomb worked on cometary and planetary orbits and on the theory of the orbit of the Earth. He measured the velocity of light and determined the astronomical unit anew. Newcomb in also honoured by craters on the Moon and on Mars. Prof. Newcomb was elected an Honorary Member of the Astronomical and Physical Society of Toronto on 1891-11-03.
This asteroid was also independently discovered on 1916-04-28 by Max Wolf at Heidelberg.