| The harbor inspection tug, BALTIMORE, is the oldest operating
steam-powered, coal-fired tugboat in the country. The ship was built in 1906 by
the Skinner Shipbuilding Company in Baltimore, Maryland. The hull is constructed
of riveted iron and the deckhouse is built of wood. A single "scotch" boiler provides
steam for the compound reciprocating engine. Today, BALTIMORE is maintained
as an operating exhibit and is docked near the dock area that served as her base
Originally, BALTIMORE was an inspection tug designed to operate in several roles as a municipal tug (tow city barges and welcome new arrivals), an auxiliary fireboat, an icebreaker during the winter months, and a VIP launch for harbor commissioners. In July 1916, before the United States had entered World War I, BALTIMORE received the German blockade running cargo submarine Deutschland, which had eluded British and French patrols that might have caught a surface ship. BALTIMORE continued to operate through 1963 for the City, when the Maryland Port Authority then sold it to the private sector. Eventually, it was donated to the Baltimore Museum of Industry. This National Historic Landmark is a tangible representative of a generation of vessels that revolutionized the world's harbors.
The BALTIMORE is docked in South Baltimore Harbor, near Key Hwy. and Port Ave. It is a part of the Baltimore Museum of Industry which can be reached at 410-727-4808. It is open Monday-Saturday, 10:00am to 5:00pm, Sunday, 12:00pm to 5:00pm, there is an admission fee. For further information on the BALTIMORE, visit the website of the Baltimore and Chesapeake Steamboat Company.
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