ANNOUNCING the publication of “The Inspection Tugboats Baltimore 1857-1980” by David W. Wooddell, 299 pages, B&W, at Amazon, May 2020.
The “Baltimore” (1906) was the last operating coal-powered steam tugboat in Baltimore Harbor. “The Inspection Tugboats Baltimore 1857-1980” is a richly detailed history of the two inspection tugboats named the “Baltimore” from 1857 to 1980. It’s a biography of the two city-owned inspection tugboats, as well as a history of Baltimore harbor and the iceboats that operated alongside the “Baltimore” to keep the harbor, the Patapsco River, and the Chesapeake Bay clear of ice. They towed vessels off the shore, saved men trapped and in desperate need, and they helped the harbor run efficiently.
They towed vessels off the shore, saved men trapped and in desperate need, and they helped the harbor run efficiently. The book begins with the building of the first tugboat “Baltimore” in 1857 by Murray & Hazlehurst at their Vulcan Works.
The narrative details the boat’s invaluable service to the city, mayor, port warden, and city council. In 1906 the second tugboat “Baltimore” was built for the city by the William H. Skinner & Sons Shipyard. The second “Baltimore” (1906) remains with us today. She served the city until she was transferred to the Maryland Port Authority, and not much later sold. Sam du Pont bought the boat and operated her as a yacht, winning awards for the historic vessel. She sank in 1979. After the “Baltimore” (1906) was brought up from the Sassafras River, Sam and Jeanne du Pont donated her to the Baltimore Museum of Industry (BMI).
This book ends with the “Baltimore’s” designation as a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service. Archival records, news reports, and interviews from ten years research inform the book.
Photo by Kat Forder Photography,, Nov 2014, on the Inspection Tugboat Baltimore
This book is authored by former National Geographic magazine Research Editor
David W. Wooddell of Baltimore, Maryland.