Portfires were used to light cannon aboard the wooden deck of a ship. The portfire itself is similar to a flare. They were a composition of niter, sulphur and mealed powder driven into a case of strong paper. A full-length portfire could burn for about ten minutes and could not be extinguished by water. Portfires were used from the mid- 1600’s up through the Civil War. During the Civil War it was a backup option to igniting a cannon, usually during wet conditions. Measures: 18” in length.
Inventory Number: ART 292