Portius was founded in Leipzig in 1873 and has survived to the present. Its first hundred publications were songs, opera vocal scores and pieces for clarinet or harmonium. It reprinted works first published in Itay, by Gobatti (songs), Ponchielli, Bellini, Donizettii (operas) Romani, Dacci, Andreli, Cavallini and Gambaro (clarinet). However, it soon switched to songs, harmonium and piano pieces by German composers.
A major change took place from about 1890, probably under the management of Andreas Scherz. Output increased, to roughly 1000 items in 1890-1914 compared with only 150 in the 1880s. Then there was a change in the genres published. A vast amount of piano music appeared, dances and salon pieces by Bohm, Winterling, Pathe, Hennes, Kretschmar, E.D.Wagner, Dugge and especially Hermann Wenzel, whose Veilchen aus Abbazia Gavotte was a major salon hit for many years. Songs and music for violin (Louis Kron's Der erste Erfolg des kleinen Giegers and Zur Erheiterung, and Wenzels’s Der Jugend Tanzlust and Schweizer Salon Album) and cello (Detloff's Souvenir album and Wenzel's 3-volume Vortrags-Album) were also included.
After the First world war production was mainly reprints of previous works, and a few new works especially by Karl Hoyer. After 1945 the firm moved to Stuttgart then Munich, but faced extinction in 1985-2002. Since 2003 Fr. Portius has been based in Mauerkirchen (near Linz in Austria) and is owned by Musik-Kral, a publisher of folk music especially for the zither, which also owns the imprints Tischer & Jagenberg, Bachschmid, E. Bauer, JLG Grimm, and Zinneberg. Portius' current catalog still contains many of its earlier successes: 1600 titles by Hermann Wenzel, Karl Hoyer, Georg Blüthner, Paul Röhricht, Albert Kranz, Carl Gänschals, Carl Heins, Gerde Rodatz, and August Nölck.