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Jupiter moored at Penn's Landing, Philadelphia
|Operator:||Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild|
|Route:||Philadelphia & Boston Harbors|
|Builder:||Neafie & Levy|
|Length:||101 ft (31 m)|
|Beam:||22 ft (6.7 m)|
|Draft:||9 ft 4 in (2.84 m)|
|Speed:||13 knots (24 km/h; 15 mph) max|
The tug Jupiter was built as hull #961, S. O. Company No. 14, in the Philadelphia shipyard of Neafie & Levy in 1902. She was built for the Standard Oil Company of New York and christened Socony 14.
Service in New York
From 1902 to 1939, she was in service in New York City, towing Standard Oil fuel ships and barges. Socony 14 was involved in and photographed fighting the Cunard Lines pier fire in New York Harbor. From 1915 to 1917, her name was changed to S.T. Co. No. 14, due to the reorganization of the Standard Oil Company’s transportation division. Then from 1918 until 1938 her name became SOCONY No. 14, and listed as being owned by Socony-Vacuum Oil Co, Paulsboro, NJ.
Service in Philadelphia
It was in 1939, Independent Lighterage Company, Independent Pier Company of Philadelphia and William Meyle, whose family owned and operated a tug line in Philadelphia, purchased the tug. Her name was changed to JUPITER to fit in with the other company tugs – the SATURN, TRITON, NEPTUNE and VENUS. This then became her home port and she was utilized for various commercial towing activities, and during World War II assisted in launching ships from area shipyards, including the battleship USS New Jersey. Jupiter took the first line from the battleship on launching. JUPITER towed barges loaded with stone from Port Deposit, 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 the USS San FRANCISCO and many other vessels that had see wartime service to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.
JUPITER was originally steam powered. In 1949, it is reported Independent Lighterage Company purchased two salvaged LST landing craft. These vessels were towed by JUPITER to the Wills Spedden & Co. Yard in Baltimore. At the shipyard, JUPITER, along with the tug SATURN, 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. She has since had an additional refit. JUPITER continued working commercially out of Philadelphia until June 1980 when she was sold to Lynnway Boat Service, Inc. of Boston. During this period, work of interest included towing tunnel sections for the Baltimore City and Chesapeake Bay Bridge tunnels. In August 1980 a corporate name change was registered from Lynnway Boat Service, Inc. to Eastern Towboat Corporation of Boston. During this period her aft end was modified to make her lighter for open ocean work., with activity continuing until its purchase in 1999 by Penn's Landing Corporation for preservation. After that purchase, on the return of the battleship New Jersey to Philadelphia, Jupiter carried passengers to welcome the ship to her birthplace. Also, as Jupiter assisted with the launching of so many navy ships on Philadelphia, she was selected to lead the USS Somerset up the Delaware for its commissioning at Penn's Landing.
Currently, she takes part in educational programs, festivals, and boat parades. The operation and maintenance is performed by the Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild, a non-profit volunteer organization. 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.
- Colton, T. (April 5, 2011). "Neafie & Levy, Philadelphia PA". T. Colton. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- Comegno, Carol (November 10, 1999). "The 97-year-old Jupiter will greet the battleship when it returns to its birthplace Thursday". Courier-Post. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- Crosby, Bill. "The Historic F.D.N.Y. Fireboats—From the John Landers-Beth Klein Collection: Fireboat "James Duane" 1908". Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild. "Jupiter". Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- JUPITER - IMO 8134302
- Socony 14 - (1902-1937)
- Johnson's Steam Vessels of the Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Coasts (1920): Standard Oil Co. of New York (technical data)
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