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