Some of you will know what a furphy is and also what a Furphy cart is. I would define a furphy as a lie in the worst case, or something misleading like a rumour. It has almost taken on the meaning of red herring.
Furphy carts were built for farmers to move water around their properties by J Furphy of Shepparton, Victoria. Previously they would have used barrels or similar. Come WWI and they found uses on the battle fields of Europe and Africa.
Furphy as a lie or rumour had its origins during WWI when soldiers gathered around the water cart and were told by the cart driver, and told each other, gossip and rumour about the war's progress, where they might be next sent, how well or not the enemy was doing. You get the idea. These stories swapped were often wrong and baseless, hence rumours developed a life as furphies.
While it is interesting history, I assumed the Furphy cart maker was also just history. So I was surprised when I looked down while standing at a tram stop in Carlisle Street, St Kilda and there was the name on the quite new grating, Furphy Foundry.
If you take a gander at the Furphy website, you will see that they make rather a lot of our street furniture. From their website, below is a photo of a Furphy water cart. While what was in relief at the end of the tank changed many times over the years, a little saying was featured for a long time in various styles.
Good, better, best - never let it rest - till your good is better - and your better, best.