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CIVIL WAR CANNON IGNITER? PORTFIRE


INIMICUS
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I CAN'T FIND ONE OF THESE HOLLOW IMPLEMENTS IN MY REFERENCES BUT BELIEVE IT'S CONNECTED TO ARTILLERY, WITH ONE END HAVING ROLLED PAPER WITH MAGNESIUM (?) POWDER INSIDE. IT HAS NO MARKINGS. HELP PLEASE? THANKS A LOT, DAVID

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That is called a port fire.It is basically a road flare and was used to fire a cannon when the lintstock(with slow match) wasn't used,usually during wet conditions.they were used from the mid 1600's up through the civil war.

 

 

 

I CAN'T FIND ONE OF THESE HOLLOW IMPLEMENTS IN MY REFERENCES BUT BELIEVE IT'S CONNECTED TO ARTILLERY, WITH ONE END HAVING ROLLED PAPER WITH MAGNESIUM (?) POWDER INSIDE. IT HAS NO MARKINGS. HELP PLEASE? THANKS A LOT, DAVID
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armormodeler is correct. Portfires predate the American Civil War. By that time, however, artillery ignition had switched over to friction primers. Not only was ignition pretty much instantaneous, it was also loads safer than having an open flame near your powder charges which were invariably in untreated linen bags (i.e. highly flammable and explosive).

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thank you excellent gentlemen!

 

 

few more Qs.: what's the spike for - vent clearing? what is a fair value range on these objects? lastly, do they come under BATF rules for 'destructive devices' and are therefore illegal to lawfully own w/o registration let alone ship in the mails?!

 

cheers, david

 

 

 

 

armormodeler is correct. Portfires predate the American Civil War. By that time, however, artillery ignition had switched over to friction primers. Not only was ignition pretty much instantaneous, it was also loads safer than having an open flame near your powder charges which were invariably in untreated linen bags (i.e. highly flammable and explosive).
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thanks a lot man! also, does this look period?

 

 

 

 

dw

Legal to own yes not an explosive ... closer to a road flare..... point on bottom is so you can stick it in the ground.....
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The "holder" for the portfire is called a Portfire Stave. In naval use, the point allowed it to be stuck into the wooden deck of a ship.

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Cascabel is correct,the piece shown in the picture with the spike end is a portfire stave,not the portfire itself.

 

Portfire's are still used in lighting fireworks

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THANKS FOR EXTRA INFOS FELLAS! SO IT'S AN ORIGINAL NOT A REPRO?

 

DAVID

 

 

 

 

Cascabel is correct,the piece shown in the picture with the spike end is a portfire stave,not the portfire itself.

 

Portfire's are still used in lighting fireworks

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