An Analysis of Shields Point Wreck #5 Using a World Systems Perspective

Shane Gilliam Pickett

          As part of the 2004 UWF nautical archaeology field school, the University of West Florida Archaeological Institute formulated plans to conduct investigations of the abandoned Shields Point vessels. While recording these ships, 2 unknown vessels were located within the cove. One vessel was a small steam-powered tugboat designated as Wreck #5.
          At the turn of the 20th century, steam power had permeated the maritime setting. Tugboats became an essential part of port life. From 1880-1914, Pensacola's port was enjoying record-breaking profits. Tugs were employed to transport the commodities within the harbor as well as provide safe vessel transit. Analysis of steam-powered harbor vessels in Pensacola provided a model delineating their effects in Pensacola's port restructuring within the U.S. shipping industry through harbor service and labor reorganizations. This model shows how steam-powered harbor vessels supported and increased commodity development and allowed the political advancement of the working class in port operations.