Baltimore Steam Tug: Steaming Since 1906, and Still Working


| March/April 1993



Baltimore

Norbeck Research 117 Ruch Street Coplay, Pennsylvania 18037.

The Baltimore, a 1906 steam tug, was rescued by the Baltimore Museum of Industry in 1981, restored, and put back into service in 1985. For more details, see the article written by Jack C. Norbeck of Norbeck Research, 117 Ruch Street, Coplay, Pennsylvania 18037.

Back in 1813, the first steamboat started working on the Chesapeake Bay. Boats propelled by steam engines permitted cargo such as coal, lumber and livestock to move at prescheduled times. Gradually, steamboats were developed to carry passengers.

The steam engine performed countless different jobs in industry and agriculture between the onset of the industrial revolution and the threshold of the atomic age, but it was in transportation that reciprocating steam made its most outstanding contribution to mankind. Without it, there would have been no steamboats to exploit the magnificent natural waterways of our country, and there would have been no railroads to bind isolated communities of North America together into great national entities. Without the steam engine we would have had no great age of steam.

The steam tug Baltimore, built in 1906, had a long proud history of service. The Skinner Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company launched the tug Baltimore in 1906. Until 1963 a sturdy hardworking tug for several decades, the Baltimore was used to tour visitors, move pile drivers and barges, and break ice.

She was later commissioned by the state of Maryland to ferry visiting dignitaries around Baltimore Harbor.