Furphy Water Cart

This water cart was owned by the Whitmee family and was used between 1890-1920 to supply water to a steam engine for threshing grain and chaff cutting around Spring Hill, Millthorpe and Canowindra. It was filled with water using a bucket fitted to a pitchfork. The shafts are now missing.

The water cart was invented by John Furphy and was first made between 1878-1880 in Shepparton. The design was a big improvement on earlier methods of carting water on the farm in barrels or casks mounted on horse-drawn sleds. The tank was carefully balanced over the axle to distribute the weight for the horse, whether the tank was empty or full. Furphies were widely used on farms in Australia, and by the military in World War One. In military camps the drivers of the carts were notorious gossips, and the word furphy became part of the Australian vernacular.

Loan courtesy Barrie Davis, 'Laanecoorie', Cargo