Tug Jupiter (1902)
In 1939, Independent Pier Company of Philadelphia bought the tug and renamed her Jupiter. Philadelphia became her home port, and she was utilized by Independent Pier for various commercial towing activities. Typical work was docking ships along the Delaware, towing barges on the river, and towing commercial and naval traffic in the Chesepeake and Delaware Canal.
During World War II, the tug was involved in the launching of the numerous naval vessels from the shipyards along the Delaware River. She was the first tug to the catch the lines of USS New Jersey during her launching. Jupiter towed barges loaded with stone from Maryland to Brandywine Light in the Delaware Bay. This stone was used to build the support facility for the submarine detection cable that spanned the bay. At the end of the war, she towed USS San Francisco and many other vessels that had seen wartime service to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.
In 1949, Independent Pier Company purchased two decomissioned LST landing craft. These vessels were towed by Jupiter to Spedding Shipyard in Baltimore. At the shipyard, Jupiter, along with the tug Saturn (also owned by Independent Pier), underwent major refits. The steam engines and systems were replaced with the engine room equipment from the LSTs.
These steam/diesel refits were common at the time. Jupiter continued working commercially out of Philadelphia. Work of interest included towing tunnel sections for the Baltimore City and Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnels.
Tugboats are real work boats. They assist in docking and undocking vessels and tow barges. They are the livelihood of our Inland Waterway. A majority of American commerce comes in by water. During 1992, the Philadelphia Piers received three (3) million tons of cargo - grapes, lemons, kiwis from Chile, bananas from Costa Rica, pears from Argentina, paper from Scandinavia, steel and motor vehicles were handled through our port. Most cargo is shipped in a sealed 40'x8'x8' container. Ships coming to Philadelphia usually have 1200 containers aboard. It takes 8 hours to unload a Container Ship using gigantic marine cranes. Before cranes, it would take a week to unload the same amount.
To summarize, Jupiter played a significant role in the development of commerce and transportation in the Delaware Valley. She is believed to be the oldest tug still active that represents Neafie and Levy's work. The tug's mechanical systems are a good example of the evolution of a typical workboat from 1900 to the 1950's.
In 1999, Jupiter was purchased by Penn's Landing Corporarion and turned over to the care of the Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild.