The ‘Boomaroo C.O.R’ toy fuel tanker was produced by the Artlay Manufacturing Company at St Marys in Sydney between 1945 and 1955.
This example, pictured right, is complete with its original paint-work and sticker trademark on the cabin roof.
The derivation of the name Boomaroo can be deduced from the sticker depicting a kangaroo on a boomerang.
The iconic symbols beside ‘Made in Australia’ were intended as a patriotic appeal for Australians to support their local industries against foreign imports.
Sixty years later very little seems to have changed.
Significantly it was produced at a time when the majority of similar toys were manufactured overseas.
Products from Germany, Japan or the United Kingdom were more likely to be played with in the Aussie backyard sandpit than those manufactured in our home country.
As well as the fuel-tanker, a tip-truck, tow-truck, cash register, tram and a forklift were also produced and featured the Boomaroo trademark.
All were built from heavy-gauge pressed steel rather than the thin tin-plate of the imports.
Design detail was perhaps lacking in the Australian product but the superior construction withstood the rigours of the playground to a greater degree.
How many people remember C.O.R. brand petrol?
The letters stood for the ‘Commonwealth Oil Refineries’ an Australian oil company that operated between 1920 and 1952.
The British Petroleum Company [BP] acquired the Australian company interests in 1954 but still marketed C.O.R. branded fuel until the late 1950s.