Freotopia > authors >

Joseph Furphy [Tom Collins]

Australian author Joseph Furphy lived & worked in Fremantle 1905-1912. He described the town vividly to his mother in letters. Furphy’s sons owned the Furphy Foundry in Grey Street Fremantle.

Joseph Furphy wrote Such is Life (1903) under his pen-name Tom Collins. He arrived in Fremantle in 1905 to help his sons, Felix and Samuel, in the Furphy Foundry, Grey Street, Fremantle. He died in Claremont on 13 September 1912 and is buried in Karrakatta Cemetery.

furphy foundry

Furphy lived in Fremantle before moving to Swanbourne in 1906. In 1907 he built a cottage in Servetus Street, Swanbourne, now relocated to the Allen Park Heritage Precinct. Known as Tom Collins House, it has been the headquarters of the Fellowship since 1949.

Furphy's popularity may have influenced the usage of the Australian slang word "furphy", meaning a "tall story". However, scholars consider it more likely that the word originated with water carts, produced in large numbers by J. Furphy & Sons, a company owned by Furphy's brother John.

References and Links

Heritage Council page for the foundry at 12 Grey Street.

Garry Gillard | New: 16 October, 2017 | Now: 26 October, 2023