I was a little surprised to not see any prior postings on this nice French Dinky Toys accessory, so decided to show a recent arrival in my collection. The 49d Poste de Ravitaillement or Esso Service, as it was called in the English catalogs, was originally shown in the 1953 French catalog, saying that it would be available in September. For some reason, that was apparently delayed, as it was then shown as a new item in the 1954 French catalog, and was also announced in the French Meccano Magazine. One reason for this might be that, according to the Dinky Toys Encyclopedia and Jacques, it was not made by Meccano, but an outside subcontractor. Since this is his material, I will Jacques amplify on that if he chooses. But possibly there were some difficulties with the die, etc., that caused that. I bought my first version of this when just a young boy, around 1957, and I still have it, but it is decidedly the worse for wear, and is now missing its hoses. I did, however, recently purchase another one, and had just received it a couple of weeks ago. This one is apparently somewhat older, as the box it came in features the early wording "miniatures" along with the usual Dinky name. I have never read just what time period this encompasses, but am guessing only for a very short time....possibly only through 1954 or 1955. My very early 24v Buick Roadmaster has the same wording on its box. The only other difference that I can easily discern is that the holder for the upright Esso sign is a little shorter on the older one. The very small sheetmetal nozzles are also slightly shorter on the older version. Many of the ones shown on eBay are also missing some or all of the original hose. My new did have the hoses intact when I received it, but upon carefully handling it, one of them broke in two. They appear to get very rigid and brittle with age, and can break with the slightest movement. I am now trying to find a suitable replacement, although the only offered replacements are not white, but yellow. I am not sure of the scale of these pumps, but have always felt they were a little big for the cars and small trucks, but in looking at period photos, it appears that they were indeed about 6' high off of the ground when placed on those platforms, so maybe they are not too far off. Any other comments or information would be greatly appreciated!
Best regards, Terry
Nice article about the French pumps. The prototypes were made by a company called Aster-Boutillon which has been merged into Tokheim.
The Dinky model was subcontracted to Fonderie Pierre Roger the trade name of which is P.R.. P.R. made the sets of figures for Meccano as well as the drivers for the late 1960's Dinky. At least those of French design.
I do not know if the drivers made from English (Lady driver from the Triumph Spitfire etc...) dies were made in Liverpool or in France and if in France were they made by Meccano or P.R.
P.R. is a general die casting foundry for small parts but they have produced two models : the "Waterman van" and "Savon LeChat van both build for the Tour de France. But P.R.'s speciality is small bikes and figures.
On of these pumps still stands in a nearby village and I will go to measure it so that we can know the exact scale of the Dinky.
I am sorry that among all it's rubbish, Atlas has issued a copy of these pumps.
Jacques---Thanks for your added comments! Do you happen to know what year or years French Dinky's came with that early yellow pictorial box, with the wording "miniatures" added?
The boxes printed with "MINIATURES DINKY TOYS" were the earliest French Dinky Toys yellow boxes issued in June 1953 for the 24 U Simca Aronde and 25Bj Fourgon "Mazda".
As far as I know, there were only four of these boxes all made in 1953 :
24 U Simca Aronde 06 - 1953
24 V Buick Roadmaster 01 - 1954
25 BJ Fourgon "Mazda" 10 - 1953
49 D Poste de ravitaillement "Esso" 01 - 1954
I went to measure the real pump, it is 162 cm. high and as the Dinky is 3.57 cm. this makes the scale 1 : 45.3 or 17/64" which is O gauge.
Many English Dinky Toys have been made to this scale but only five French ones.
24 q Ford Vedette 1951.
24 x Ford Vedette 1954.
24 xt Taxi Ford Vedette 1954.
49 d Poste de ravitaillement "Esso".
Jacques----Thanks for checking on that, so now we can list the scale for it.
I came across this photo of a nostalgic Esso petrol station. It looks like the French Dinky Toys 49d and the British Dinky Toys 181. Given the nostalgic decor of the buildings and a Volkswagen (with oval window) with a French license plate, it also seems to be in France. It is probably a standard Esso petrol pump station in France in the 50's. Note also the black Solex against the wall, which were produced in France.
The pillar with Esso plate is also white with red from below. The oval gray concrete island on which the 2 pumps are located is also clearly visible. The high red Esso pump on the left side is an older pump. Note the 3 aeration pipes that rise at the wall till the roof. There will be 3 tanks underground. At the time, Esso had normal and super gasoline for sale (the red and the blue pumps) and the high red pump will probably be for diesel.
In the Netherlands there stood a well-known Esso service station of that time along the roads with a characteristic form (V roof on a glass kiosk) of the architect W.M. Dudok, who built 112 of them from 1953-1967. One of them fortunately has been preserved as a museum piece by Louwman & Parqui Toyota museum in Raamsdonkveer.
Esso service station of the 50’s of architect W.M. Dudok preserved by Louwman & Parqui Toyota museum in Raamsdonkveer.
It also has been copied as a miniature 1:87 by 1005 Busch Tankstation Dudok Esso NL.
9 May 2019 Jan Oldenhuis
Thank you for these pictures of real Esso service stations, specially the French one with the pumps of the same type as the Dinky Toys ones. Please note that the VW on the photo is not registered in France but probably in the Netherlands. It looks new and this can date the photo to 1956 or later.
The Solex moped is of an early type with U pipe frame.
While writing this I found that the early French Dinky pumps have also been made by Boutillon which had not yet merged with Aster. The name "Pompe type Ville de Paris" for the Dinky Toys 49c has not been invented by Meccano, it is the type of the original Boutillon pump.
These pumps have been sold by Vectis as a Dinky Toys which of course it is not. Is this a Britains ?
Any info on this model will be welcomed.