Few Australian firms match the legendary status of J. Furphy and Sons.
Makers of the iconic water carts which are sought by collectors from across the world, Furphy is a deserved part of Australian folklore.
The name has entered our slang with the ultimate Aussie tribute of even having a beer named after them.
The Furphy company, which is still operating to this day in Shepparton in Victoria, is celebrating its 150th birthday this Saturday (November 25) with a free open day - visits to its factory, museum, displays and even auctions.
Good Better Best, Never Let it Rest, Until your Good is Better, And your Better Best.
Those words became synonymous with the water cart and remains the company motto today.
From its role in helping early settlers battle incredible hardship to hack their farms from the wilderness to its endurance on the battlefield during World War One, the Furphy water cart is legend.
Even today, collectors battle it out to pay record amounts for the carts and the important metal tap-end on the cart which contained the highly valued poem and other "Furphy" raised messaging.
Just last year, a Furphy tank with pump sold for $61,300.
Did you know the word "furphy", slang for a rumour, is thought to have been coined by soldiers gossiping while washing while on service overseas during World War One?
Like today's spurious water cooler conversations in the office, soldiers chatted while gathered around the battlefield Furphy water tanks.
While the company marked its 150th anniversary of continuous family business back in 2014, this year is the 150th anniversary since the company founder moved his operations to Shepparton from Kyneton.
Today the two companies that began life under John Furphy still base their operations in Shepparton and are significant employers in the town.
Their combined operations include urban furniture and infrastructure, stainless steel tanks and vessels, hot dip galvanising services and other metal fabrication.
It was in 1873 John Furphy and wife Sarah moved their blacksmith and wheelwright business from Kyneton.
Today, five generations on, Furphy Foundry and J. Furphy & Sons continue the famous tradition.
John Furphy was 22 when he began his blacksmith and wheelwright business in 1864.
His original business involved servicing the needs of Kyneton district settlers.
His work flourished and he moved to Shepparton to set up a foundry and give life to his inventions, various farm and agricultural implements including the iconic water cart.
A Methodist lay preacher, his water carts often carried messages, often times in shorthand, about the pitfalls of drinking liquor.
Much of his early work was in adapting machinery to suit local conditions such as the Furphy Self Raising Stripper, ploughs and spike rollers.
He also saw the efficiency in manufacturing a combined water tank and cart.
As farm pioneers set up rough shacks with their families on often arid blocks and battled the inevitable droughts, the horse-drawn water cart became an essential part of farm equipment.
Cast iron concave ends were manufactured in the foundry.
A rolled barrel made from galvanized iron was slipped over the ends and a ring was heated then slipped over the outside of the barrel to provide a shrink fit upon cooling.
Thus the tank was water tight. Lugs cast into the ends allowed for mounting the tank on either horizontal bearers or angled shafts to accommodate fitting to a horse for transport.
Mr Furphy painted the family name across the sides of the tanks and cast his name and more into the iron ends.
As 2014 marked the 150th anniversary of this remarkable continuous family business, the Furphy Museum was launched, housed at the Shepparton Motor Museum (Shepparton Museum of Vehicle Evolution - MOVE).
MOVE is hosting the special event to mark 150 years since John Furphy moved his blacksmith and wheelwright business from Kyneton to Shepparton.
Access to the event and The Furphy Museum will be free from noon to 4pm this Saturday.
There will be a Furphy water cart display historic demonstrations including barrelling and more.
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