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THEME: Pine Creek
TOPIC: Furphy’s

2001 October 15, Monday. North of Pine Creek.

The Furphy’s Farm Water Cart is as much an Australian icon as the Hill’s Hoist, and the Victa Rotary Mower. The one in the garden of the Pine Creek library was crafted in the early forties, and must have been brought at that time from Shepparton, in the far south east of the continent, where it was manufactured by J. Furphy and Sons Specialty Farm Products Manufacturers.


Either end of the tank is cast iron with lettering moulded into it. Across the centre is a type of writing often confused for Arabic, but which is in fact Pitman’s Shorthand for “Water is the gift of God, but beer and whisky are concoctions of the devil: Go and have a drink of water.” This is a temperance message from the manufacturers. A stork with a swaddled baby hanging from his beak sends another message of family and stability.

Furphy’s also advertise their other products on the tank end, all agricultural machinery and parts – Plough Wheels, Land Graders, Spike Rollers and Iron Castings among others.

The verse at the bottom of the tank end, near the tap, is Furphy’s motto, a jingle, which reads:
“Good, Better, Best
Never Let It Rest
Till Your Good Is Better
And Your Better – Best”

Today, each of these tank-ends is worth hundreds of dollars, because of their uniqueness, and the amount of work and thought which have been put into them.

Suggested learning activities: Can you find other examples where a moral is disguised in a piece of writing or a presentation? - Aesop’s Fables for example. Try writing your own entertaining piece, to read or perform to the class, with a message or moral to be “read between the lines”. Find examples of different styles of shorthand, and find out why it they are used.



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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 15, 2001 9:19 AM.

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