Promotional children’s toys were for the most part accessories, supplementary pieces intended to accompany the toy cars.
Technical, esthetic and economic reasons and the spirit of the toy itself did not favor exact fidelity to the actual objects, yet the toy gas pumps of the period do succeed in communicating important information about the characteristics of the real ones, and about the context surrounding them.
One can recognize the different national types by the place of manufacture (or by the market for which the toy was destined); in addition to the pumps one finds oil cans, air pumps and, in an American model, a refreshment stand for motorists.
Only rarely does the gas pump appear reproduced with exactitude, more in the spirit of a model than a mere toy, but it is easy in any case to see that we are always dealing with promotional objects.
Along with gasoline pumps, toy manufacturers of every period have also offered the vehicles that transport the fuel, of every type and size, from the earliest oil drum-carrying wagons to modern tank trucks.
In the absence of the original vehicles themselves, they help to re-evoke the history of oil distribution.