Furphy Water Cart - Wooden Model Kit

Furphy Water Cart - Wooden Model Kit
Furphy Water Cart - Wooden Model Kit
September 4, 2016

Modelers Central is excited to introduce the latest addition to our range of wooden model kits - the Furphy Water Cart.

The Furphy Farm Water Cart was designed and made by a company established by John Furphy - J. Furphy & Sons of Shepparton, Victoria. The steel and cast iron tanks were first made in the 1880s and were used on farms and by stock agents throughout Victoria and the Riverina and eventually found their way into all Australian states. The Furphy water cart was so widely used and popular that the word Furphy became synonymous with all water carts irrespective of which company made the water cart.

Demonstrating his excellent eye for advertising, John Furphy had the name “Furphy” painted on each side of the tank for all to see. Also, the tank end castings carried in raised lettering a listing of the products made the J. Furphy & Sons. In 1898 John Furphy added a short rhyme to the casting “Good, better, best—never let it rest—till your good is better—and your better best”.

Furphy Water Cart & World War 1

At the outbreak of the Great War in August 1914 some Furphy water carts were used at Broadmeadows military camp outside Melbourne. While waiting there before the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) embarkation from Australia, the soldiers would gather around the Furphy water carts for a drink of water or at latrines where the water carts were located. As would be expected with the long wait before embarkation soldiers would gossip and spread rumour at these meeting points. By the time the First AIF sailed in late October “furphy” had become part of the vocabulary of soldiers from the Broadmeadows camp  - it is from this origin the word “furphy” entered Australian slang meaning a rumour or an erroneous or improbable story. During the time the AIF spent in Egypt from December 1914 “furphy” became widely used by other Australian troops.  Also, as military water carts carried water to the troops in different camps at Gallipoli and the Western Front the cart drivers were a notorious source of information and gossip - this served to further embed the word “furphy” into the oral culture of the Australian troops.

While it is widely accepted and incorporated into the ANZAC tradition that Furphy water carts accompanied the AIF to Egypt, Gallipoli and France, there is no record of J. Furphy & Sons building waters carts to army specifications. Water carts used in these military theatres were made either by H.V McKay of Sunshine or J.A. Lawton & Sons of Adelaide.

So, it would seem it’s a furphy that Furphy waters carts were part of the AIF overseas campaigns.

Furphy Water Cart Wooden Model Kit

Our wooden model kit of the Furphy Water Cart 1910 is based on photographs and measurements taken from restored original carts of the period. Much can be learnt from building a model of early transport: about life in those days, about how people lived & worked and about trades that no longer exist.

The Furphy Water Cart wooden model kit comes complete with detailed written instructions with colour photos and all the parts and fittings to build a perfect model of the Furphy Water Cart.


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