2005 Author of the Year Award Working Harbor Committee of New York and New Jersey
2006 AAUP Book, Jacket, and Journal Show in the category of Trade Illustrated Book Design
Tugboats are the workhorses of the greatest harbor in the world, easing massive ocean liners and garbage scows alike cleanly into their berths. Tugboats of New York captures the history and lore of these iconic craft, from their precursors in the early 1800s to their heyday in the 1950s, when more than 700 small but potent boats dotted the harbor. They are the most versatile of vessels, not only guiding large oceangoing ships safely into harbor, but also conducting rescue operations and navigating vast quantities of oil, cement, and scrap iron through traffic-clogged waters.
A twenty-year veteran of New York tugboats, George Matteson knows the tides and currents of New York from the Bronx to the Verrazano Narrows. His history of tugboating shows how this inherently risky business pits men and their boats against weather, water, and the scarcely measurable physics of ships and barges of far greater dimension.
The story of New York's tugs parallels the broader history of New York's industrial development, from the rise of railroads to the decline of the port in the wake of labor disputes and large container ships. It is also a story of remarkable seamen who pass their craft from pilot to apprentice over generations, along with the lore of great waterways that remain unchanged despite the lengthening shadows of skyscrapers and commerce.
Rich with first-person anecdotes of life on the New York waterways and one hundred and fifty black-and-white illustrations, including rare and sumptuous photographs from the likes of Gordon Parks and Todd Webb, Tugboats of New York will fascinate readers interested in New York history, boating, and maritime history.
George Matteson has operated tugboats since 1971 and has also worked as the waterfront manager of the South Street Seaport Museum. He is the author of Draggermen as well as several articles in Boating magazine. He lives in New York City.
Introduction 1 The Formation of New York Harbor 2 "A New-Invented Machine" 3 The Birth of Steam Towing in New York Harbor 4 Towing on the Hudson5 Steamboats in the Mid-Nineteenth Century ? Annals of the Austin 6 The Hook Boats 7 Early Tugboat Owners ? The Cornell Steamboat Company 8 The Civil War ? Shifting 9 The Postwar Era ? Gate Lines 10 A Time of Change? The Sing Sing Stampede 11 The Rise of Coastal Towing ? On the Hawser 12 Transatlantic Towing ? Communications 13 Fuel ? On the Hip 14 The Railroads ? On the Nose 15 Trust and Honor: The Rescue of the Dalzelline ? Ship Work 16 The Unions ? The Independents 17 Diesel 18 The Ebb Begins 19 Towing in a New Century ? Canal Work Epilogue: A Race of One Notes Bibliography Index About the Author