A product borne, like so many, of necessity, the Furphy Farm Water Cart provided a much needed solution for efficiently transporting water. John Furphy was the first to see the possibility of manufacturing a single item that combined water tank and a cart to transport it. With the settlement development of northern Victoria and Riverina underway and significant drought in between 1895 and 1902 the water cart quickly established itself as a vital piece of equipment.
The design of the cart was simple yet effective. Cast iron concave ends were manufactured in the foundry. A rolled barrel made from galvanized iron was slipped over the ends and a ring then heated and 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. John painted the family name across the sides of the tanks and cast his name and more into the cast iron ends. Furphys Farm Water Cart had a number of words cast into its ends over many years. References to the foundry’s location in Shepparton as well as listings of various products also manufactured were present on the ends. But perhaps the most significant set of words to feature on the tank was the small poem encouraging continual improvement. Good Better Best, Never Let it Rest, Until your Good is Better, And your Better Best. This poem was to become synonomous with the water cart and with the company and remains the company motto today for both J. Furphy & Sons and Furphy Foundry.