• Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Portfire A case of strong paper filled with a composition of niter, sulphur, and mealed powder, -- used principally to ignite the priming in proving guns, and as an incendiary material in shells.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n portfire A kind of slow-match or match-cord formerly used to discharge artillery.
    • ***


In literature:

Left a moment alone, Miss Portfire took a quick, half-audible, feminine inventory of the cabin.
"Mrs. Skaggs's Husbands and Other Stories" by Bret Harte
Luckily I took the bolder course, remembering their portfires, which would make the cave like day.
"Mary Anerley" by R. D. Blackmore
Loaded both guns, got new portfires, and we ran into the enemy.
"Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 84, October, 1864" by Various
As soon as possible we went out to Spithead, and joined a large squadron under command of Sir Peppery Portfire.
"Salt Water" by W. H. G. Kingston
Some were ignited by mechanical action and others by match or portfire.
"The 28th: A Record of War Service in the Australian Imperial Force, 1915-19, Vol. I" by Herbert Brayley Collett
Also, I had it in my mind to order him to send a few portfires up on deck.
"The First Mate" by Harry Collingwood
He handed the portfire to Corporal Burgess, who was shot dead before he could light the fuse.
"Barclay of the Guides" by Herbert Strang
Scully must see to having the portfire ready for himself.
"On the Face of the Waters" by Flora Annie Steel
Shortly after this signal of portfire they sent up a rocket from the barque.
"My Danish Sweetheart., Volume 1 of 3" by William Clark Russell