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  COTM -- Mid-Continent Petroleum Corp. / D-X -- June 2007 (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   COTM -- Mid-Continent Petroleum Corp. / D-X -- June 2007
thermactor
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Posts: 1393
From: Decatur, IL
Registered: Apr 2005

posted 06-01-2007 10:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for thermactor   Click Here to Email thermactor     Edit/Delete Message

Hello everyone!

Welcome to this month’s installment of Company Of The Month here on oldgas.com!

This month’s feature will cover the Mid-Continent Petroleum Corp. (D-X Sunray, Sunray D-X, Sunray Mid-Continent). I’ll start off with a brief history, a timeline, and then we’ll start posting pictures of signs, globes, cans, pumps, maps, and everything else that we can find. I hope to get a lot of participation, as Mid-Continent / D-X is fairly popular, and one of my favorite brands.

I would like to thank Wayne Henderson, Bob Drake, and Scott Shipers for helping me put this together so far, and I’m sure I’ll have many more of you to thank by the end of the month.

So, let’s get started!

Company History:

The history of Mid-Continent is somewhat fuzzy, due to the extreme complexity of the businesses involved in its formation and the limited availability of records from this period.

It all started with Josh Cosden of Tulsa, Oklahoma in the mid teens. Mr. Cosden, a prominent businessman and local celebrity in Tulsa, is briefly described in this article from the Harvard Business School:

“Known as the "prince of petroleum," Cosden is credited with establishing Oklahoma as a major oil producing state. Starting with a small parcel of land, he built a $35 million oil business in ten short years. Through his oil discoveries and exploration, he almost single-handedly quadrupled the population of Tulsa at the turn of the century.”

Mr. Cosden established Cosden Oil & Gas Co., building its new headquarters building (called the Mid-Continent building) in 1916. Mid-Continent Petroleum Corporation was organized as Cosden & Company, a Delaware corporation, in 1917. Various Cosden holdings were re-incorporated as Mid-Continent Petroleum during a forceful restructuring that took place in 1925. It was at this time that the Mid-Continent building in Tulsa officially became the headquarters of the Mid-Continent Petroleum Corporation.

The Washington Post stated in 1927:
”The company is a holding corporation, but through its subsidiaries produces and refines crude oil and distributes its products at wholesale. Oil properties owned are located in Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas.”

As of 1932, they were operating the following subsidiaries:
Cosden Pipe Line Co.
Kay & Kiowa Oil Co.
Cosden Oil & Gas Co.
Mid-Continent Petroleum Company of Kentucky
Cosden Sales Corporation
Cosden Building Company

Also as of 1932, Mid-Continent was operating a 40,000 bpd refinery at West Tulsa, OK, nine natural gasoline plants, production properties in Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas and Arkansas, 1300 miles of pipelines, and marketing from Texas to Canada throughout the Mid-Continent area.


[This message has been edited by thermactor (edited 06-02-2007).]

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thermactor
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Posts: 1393
From: Decatur, IL
Registered: Apr 2005

posted 06-01-2007 11:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for thermactor   Click Here to Email thermactor     Edit/Delete Message
The company’s stations began selling gasoline at stations under the Diamond name at some point in the early to mid- 1920s. The stations sold motor oil, kerosene, Diamond gasoline, and an anti-knock version known as Nevr-Nox. This antiknock compound must have been something other than Ethyl at the beginning, because it was touted as being “non-poisonous” on some versions of signs and globes from the 1920s through 1933.

In 1933, “D-X” gasoline was introduced. It is theorized that this name was in reference to “Diamond – X,” suggesting an “X-factor” or unknown substance in the gasoline that made it superior to others. The D-X name became more prominent, being applied to more than just gasoline. Eventually, by the end of WWII, stations were rebranded from “Diamond” to simply “D-X.”

In 1955, significant changes took place in the company. Because Mid-Continent was mainly a holding and marketing operation, it proved beneficial for them to merge with a heavily production-oriented company. In this case, that company was Sunray Oil.

This merger resulted in two new companies. The Sunray Mid-Continent Oil Co. was the production-oriented entity, and the D-X Sunray Oil Co. was geared primarily towards marketing and distribution. Stations continued to operate under the D-X name (changed to DX in or about 1957). Sunray stations added the D-X logo to the bottom of their logos at the time of the merger, but by 1962, all were rebranded to DX.

This Sunray advertisement is from 1959:

Also in 1962, a name change took place for DX Sunray. The positions of the names were reversed, yielding the Sunray DX Oil Company.

1968 brought about the end of Sunray DX, as a merger with the Sun Oil Company (Sunoco) resulted in its dissolution. The DX stations located in Sunoco marketing areas were rebranded, but the stations outside of these areas remained DX until after 1980. It was in this year that Sun began to rebrand all of the DX stations gradually, the last of which disappeared in the mid-1990s.

Stay tuned for more information and photos. Up next is the company timeline, followed by station pictures and more!

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Maps for the memories
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Posts: 117
From: Midwest
Registered: Jul 2006

posted 06-02-2007 08:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Maps for the memories     Edit/Delete Message
I'm impressed so far! I didn't have the courage--or the resources--to tackle this company.

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texaspelican
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Posts: 674
From: 8 miles from Texas in Louisiana
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 06-02-2007 01:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for texaspelican   Click Here to Email texaspelican     Edit/Delete Message
Give me more! you have my attention...

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BLange
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Posts: 618
From: Cedar Rapids, IA
Registered: Oct 2005

posted 06-02-2007 01:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for BLange   Click Here to Email BLange     Edit/Delete Message
DX is one of my favorites.

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phmlpn
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Posts: 23
From: Fulton, MS
Registered: Apr 2006

posted 06-02-2007 02:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for phmlpn   Click Here to Email phmlpn     Edit/Delete Message
We had a fully operational DX station until 1992. Haven't seen one since.

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Dustin Balduff
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Posts: 150
From: New Lenox,IL U.S.A
Registered: Mar 2005

posted 06-02-2007 07:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dustin Balduff   Click Here to Email Dustin Balduff     Edit/Delete Message
.

[This message has been edited by Dustin Balduff (edited 06-02-2007).]

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thermactor
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Posts: 1393
From: Decatur, IL
Registered: Apr 2005

posted 06-03-2007 09:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for thermactor   Click Here to Email thermactor     Edit/Delete Message
Thanks guys! There's a lot more to come. I'm looking forward to the pictures. If you have any pictures, by the way, be sure to email them to me if you'd like me to post them.


I've constructed a timeline to the best of my abilities. Based on fairly sparse information, this is the most accurate that I can devise. If you have an additions or corrections, please feel free to email me.

Timeline:

1916: Josh Cosden built the “Mid-Continent Building” as a headquarters for his Cosden Oil & Gas company in downtown Tulsa, OK.

1918: A Cosden-controlled company called Mid-Continent Petroleum was incorporated in Delaware.

1925: Restructuring of the Cosden holdings. Mid-Continent Petroleum Corporation as we know it was incorporated. Mid-Continent building in Tulsa becomes Mid-Continent Petroleum Corporation headquarters. “Diamond Gasoline Motor Oil” Station ID Sign introduced.

1933: D-X Gasoline (motor grade), NevrNox Ethyl introduced. “Diamond” Station ID sign introduced.

1935: Power Gasoline (motor grade) introduced. Diamond 760, Power, and Faultless motor oils existed at this time, but their introduction date is currently unknown.

1936: D-X Ethyl replaces NevrNox Ethyl grade.

1939-40: Power ‘G’ Gasoline (motor grade) introduced.

1946: D-X Diesel introduced. Diamond stations rebranded to simply “D-X.” New “D-X” Station ID signs introduced.

1955: Merger with Sunray Oils. Formation of Sunray Mid-Continent Oil Co. and it’s primary subsidiary D-X Sunray.

1955-56: D-X Boron gasoline (premium grade) introduced with “rocket” globe attachment.

1957: DX Marine gasoline introduced. Change to new “DX” logo initiated. Station ID signs changed to new-style red, white, and blue logo.

1961: Super Boron gasoline (super premium grade) introduced.

1962: Company name change from DX Sunray to Sunray DX.

1968: Merger with Sun Oil Co. Dual-branded (Sunoco / DX) products introduced at this time. Stations in Sunoco marketing areas rebranded to Sunoco.

1980: Push to rebrand still-existing DX stations to Sunoco begins.

1993-?: Last DX stations rebranded to Sunoco.

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thermactor
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Posts: 1393
From: Decatur, IL
Registered: Apr 2005

posted 06-03-2007 09:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for thermactor   Click Here to Email thermactor     Edit/Delete Message
Products:

The following is of course a partial list of products. If anyone has anything to add to the list, please email me and I will update it ASAP. I’d like to make it as complete as possible.

Motor Oils:

Diamond motor oil: A motor oil introduced in the 1910s or 1920s.
Diamond 760 Motor Oil: This was a premium-grade motor oil that was introduced sometime before 1936. A writeup from a 1935 road map reads “Only the very best lubricants are retained from the 100% paraffin base crudes used in the refining of Diamond Seven-Sixty. There are no light portions to vaporize; there are no heavy portions to foul the motor. Diamond Seven-Sixty provides protection through the widest temperature range. It is free-flowing at zero and is safe even at 760 degrees.
Faultess Motor Oil: A lower-grade motor oil. 100% paraffin base. Introduced prior to 1936.
Power Motor Oil: A lower grade motor oil. 100% paraffin base. Introduced prior to 1936.
D-X (and DX) Motor Oils: Various sub-names, grades, and additives from 1940s through 1968.
D-X Marine Oil
D-X (and DX) Outboard Motor Oil

Greases:

Diamond Greases
Faultless axle grease
D-X (and DX) greases

Fuels:

Diamond kerosene
Diamond motor gasoline
Diamond Nitro gasoline
NevrNox non-poisonous gasoline
NevrNox Ethyl gasoline
D-X Lubricating Motor Fuel
D-X Ethyl gasoline
D-X Diesel fuel
D-X Boron gasoline
DX Super Boron gasoline
DX Marine gasoline

Anti-Freezes:

Mid-Continent Anti-Freeze
Diamond Anti-Freeze
D-X (and DX) Anti-Freeze

Other Fluids:

Diamond gear lubricant
D-X (and DX) gear lubricant
D-X (and DX) automatic transmission fluid

Other Products:

Diamond household oil
D-X household oil

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thermactor
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Posts: 1393
From: Decatur, IL
Registered: Apr 2005

posted 06-03-2007 11:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for thermactor   Click Here to Email thermactor     Edit/Delete Message
Let’s start out with a few old station images.

Here’s a picture from 1931 of a Diamond station in the process of being built. The station building itself is complete. Notice the visible pump lying on the ground in a crate, and the first-generation station ID sign on the pole.

Here we have an advertisement from a building/signage company with an extremely cool Diamond facade.

Here is a Diamond service station building in Louisville, KY. It was built in 1927 in the mission style, and has some very cool diamond-shaped tiles on the pillars. Notice the metal brackets above the two main arches. These are likely from a Diamond Service Station porcelain strip sign.

Here’s an image of some clockface pumps at a D-X station in the mid 30s.

And a much newer DX station… From gassigns.org: Abandoned DX on US 77, south of Wynnewood, OK about to be demolished.
Photo taken by John Cirillo, 1997.

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cmeon66
Active Member

Posts: 143
From: Clinton, Illinois, U S A
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 06-05-2007 09:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cmeon66   Click Here to Email cmeon66     Edit/Delete Message
Wes, it is always an adventure for me to post a picture on this computor, I hope a Diamond sign shows up.Norm.

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cmeon66
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Posts: 143
From: Clinton, Illinois, U S A
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 06-05-2007 09:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cmeon66   Click Here to Email cmeon66     Edit/Delete Message
And here is another one.

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cmeon66
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From: Clinton, Illinois, U S A
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posted 06-05-2007 09:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cmeon66   Click Here to Email cmeon66     Edit/Delete Message
And this is my last DX picture, i will quit while I am ahead, Norm Huff .

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thermactor
Active Member

Posts: 1393
From: Decatur, IL
Registered: Apr 2005

posted 06-05-2007 11:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for thermactor   Click Here to Email thermactor     Edit/Delete Message
Hey Norm, thanks for the pictures! I sure like that Diamond sign... I was wondering if you were ever going to dig that thing out

Let's take a look at some globes!

I've compiled all of the globe images I can find so far. If you know of one that I've omitted, please let me know, and I'll gladly correct the situation.

Here we go...

The first six globes are from the 1920s, exact year unknown...


photo: Maurice Campbell



photo: John O'Hern



photo: Maurice Campbell



photo: Scott Benjamin & Wayne Henderson



photo: Scott Benjamin & Wayne Henderson



photo: Scott Benjamin & Wayne Henderson

[This message has been edited by thermactor (edited 06-06-2007).]

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thermactor
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Posts: 1393
From: Decatur, IL
Registered: Apr 2005

posted 06-05-2007 11:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for thermactor   Click Here to Email thermactor     Edit/Delete Message
1925-33

photo: Maurice Campbell

1930-33

1933-36

photo: Maurice Campbell

1933-36

photo: Maurice Campbell

1936-46

photo: Scott Benjamin & Wayne Henderson

1936-46

photo: Maurice Campbell

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