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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).]
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!
I'm impressed so far! I didn't have the courage--or the resources--to tackle this company.
Give me more! you have my attention...
DX is one of my favorites.

We had a fully operational DX station until 1992. Haven't seen one since.

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


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.

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


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


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


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
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.
Wes, it is always an adventure for me to post a picture on this computor, I hope a Diamond sign shows up.Norm.
And here is another one.
And this is my last DX picture, i will quit while I am ahead, Norm Huff .
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).]

photo: Maurice Campbell



photo: Maurice Campbell


photo: Maurice Campbell


photo: Scott Benjamin & Wayne Henderson


photo: Maurice Campbell

photo: Maurice Campbell


photo: Maurice Campbell


photo: Maurice Campbell

Regarding the D-X Lubricating Gasoline above... I'm fairly certain I've seen a variation that said "Motor Fuel" instead of "Gasoline." I cannot find any pictures at this time.


photo: Maurice Campbell


photo: Maurice Campbell


photo: Maurice Campbell

photo: Maurice Campbell


photo: John O'Hern

The above attention-grabbing "rocket" globe attachment advertised the debut of D-X Boron in 1955.



photo: Maurice Campbell


photo: Scott Benjamin & Wayne Henderson


photo: Scott Benjamin & Wayne Henderson
Just a note--the Plymouth Belvedere they are unearthing in Tulsa today has D-X products in the trunk. Looking at the slide show on Tulsa World, it looks like a gallon bottle of Boron additive and 2-3 gallon oil cans.
The burial was in June of 1957, so at that date, the black, red, and ivory older trademark was still current.
Regarding the Belvidere. The vault has 2.5 feet of water in it as of Wednesday 6/13 and the water mark on the walls shows evidence that the car had been completely submerged in water. I fear for the condition of the intererior and the DX cans.....or for that matter anything else in the car.
Great job Wes, thanks for doing COTM-DX!

Some stuff from the Simpler Times museum...(pump colors/image not "by the book")

[This message has been edited by tokheim (edited 06-14-2007).]
Here is another globe for you. Richard
sorry about the double post. Richard

[This message has been edited by gatorgaspumps (edited 06-15-2007).]
Hey everyone,

It's time for some signage! I'm posting several Mid-Continent and D-X signs. If you've got any others, please feel free to post them or send them to me by email.


The sign that Norm (cmeon66) posted (Diamond Gasolines - Motor Oil) was one of the older-style (1925-33. You can see an example of it in the service station pic on Page 1.

This version was used from 1933-46.

In 1946, this sign came into use, replacing the name "Diamond" for service station identification.

Several variants of this sign existed. It was made in various sizes, with single and double-sided versions. The above sign shows an earlier font style, while this later example (below) shows a pudgier font. It is dated 1955.
Hey Richard, thanks for posting that globe!!

Tokheim, that is a pretty neat display. Even if not "accurate," there are some nice pieces there.


[This message has been edited by thermactor (edited 06-17-2007).]
In 1957, the familiar "new" red, white, and blue logo was phased in.

There were several different sizes and styles, as with the previous logo versions. Internally illuminated signs came into use by the early 60s.

Here's an illuminated version:

In some cases, the 1957-up version of the sign (porcelain or internally lit) could be seen on a spiffy curved pole like this one:

There's lots more to come, including some more interesting ID signs, curb signs, flanges, and more! Stay tuned...

Let's take a look at some other Mid-Continent signs...

Here are a couple of curb signs. I've seen one other style, but can't find a picture. (It's "home plate" shaped.)

This Diamond Motor Oil curb sign dates to the mid 30s.

Here's a Diamond 760 curb sign from the late 30s.

photo: Scott Shipers

Does anyone have a picture to share of the 30" NevrNox Ethyl curb sign from the 1933-36 period?
This is a Sunray D-X curb sign (28") from 1955-57.

photo: John O'Hern

And here is its newer-logo counterpart from 1957-62.

[This message has been edited by thermactor (edited 06-20-2007).]
Next, let's take a look at some very cool flange signs!

This is the earliest example I've found - the Diamond Gas - Oils flange from the 1910s.

photo: John O'Hern

Here is a Diamond 760 Motor Oil flange from the mid 1930s.

This Diamond Kerosene flange is from the same era.

photo: Maurice Campbell

Here's another version from the same period, but from a different manufacturer.

photo: Dan Matthews
Check out this super-cool D-X hanging neon sign from the 1946-57 era.

Another unusual one... Here's a 3-D stamped porcelain D-X sign. Look closely at the sign on the pylon of this building:

Here's a good picture of the diamond-shaped portion. The 3-D stamped letters mount to the center of it on some steel strap-like brackets.

photo: Scott Shipers

If anyone has a better photo of a complete one, please feel free to post it!

[This message has been edited by thermactor (edited 06-20-2007).]
Here's an interestingly shaped Nevr Nox sign from 1933 to 36. It's the only one like it I've seen, but I have seen two other signs of the same shape and 'format.' They both advertised Diamond 760 Motor Oil - one had 'hollow' 760 numbers, and the other had 'solid' numbers.

photo: Paddy McCauley
Let's take a look at some more signs...

Here's the "home plate" shaped curb sign that I was having trouble locating. Thanks, Don!

photo: Don Beaver

And an older-style D-X Credit Cards sign:

photo: John O'Hern

This really neat sign is the only one I've seen. It appears to be a canvas banner (thanks DB!):

photo: Scott Shipers

This sign is a fairly common one. It was put up when a station was still under construction, or maybe about to be rebranded.

photo: Scott Shipers

[This message has been edited by thermactor (edited 06-28-2007).]

[This message has been edited by thermactor (edited 06-28-2007).]
Prior to 1957, D-X pumps used only diamond-shaped decals with the D-X logo.

When the DX pump plates came on the scene, they were big, bold, simple, and to-the-point. They appeared in 1957, and were available in several sizes, and in variations with rounded and sharp corners. The red and the blue plates were porcelain, while the gold ones were anodized aluminum with painted lettering.

Here's the standard DX plate:

The Boron version:

Super Boron:

photo: John O'Hern

And, the very cool Marine Gasoline:

After the end of the pump plate era (1960s), decals again took over. There were also some faceplates for the 60s-70s style pumps that featured the DX logo...

[This message has been edited by thermactor (edited 06-28-2007).]
Next, let's take a look at some cans. Maurice Campbell was kind enough to share some pictures of his collection, and I've added in some others as well.

Here are some of the Mid_Continent and D-X quarts:

As far as I know, there are 5-quart versions of all of the quart cans up to the last of the older-logo D-X variants.

Here's an example of a 5-quart (same graphics as the quarts), and also a Diamond Rustproof Compound can.

There were also quart and gallon versions of the Mid Continent antifreeze can:

There was also one can coin bank made. They used the same graphics as the 1qt and 5qt versions of the hollow-number Diamond 760 can:

[This message has been edited by thermactor (edited 07-01-2007).]
Here are some of the 5-gallon cans (thare are several other versions as well):

The Medicrude is especially interesting:

Here are some grease cans. A 1-lb white Faultless Grease can also existed, matching the white Faultless motor oil quart and 5-quart. I have no picture of it, however.
These are the three marine oil square cans. A round quart version of the one on the left also exists.

A can of Livestock Spray:

DX Grease gun tubes:

[This message has been edited by thermactor (edited 07-01-2007).]
Let's take a look at some maps. The early maps from Mid-Continent were pretty decorative and stylish, but in the 40s, they began to get fairly plain and not nearly as exciting as from some other companies.

This is the oldest example I've seen, from the very early 30s, 1931 or 32:

This was the next mpa, from 1833 (+/-) Definitely my favorite.

Nexct came these two from the mid-30s.

This is the last of the "tri-fold" maps (the ones that open into a 3-panel picture). Unfortunately I don't have any photos of one opened up.

Here are some from the 40s through the 60s. Pretty plain. The Tulsa city map is the exception, having some great graphics on the front.

Shot at 2007-07-01

DX Sign, double sided, porcelain

Shot at 2007-07-01

DX Globe on CAPCO body

Shot at 2007-07-01

DX Globe on CAPCO body OOPS!!!

[This message has been edited by hawkike (edited 07-01-2007).]

Shot at 2007-07-01

Note the differences in the SUNOCO THERMOMETERS.
Nice stuff, hawkike, thank you!

Here are a couple little smalls that I have lying around.

A free sample tube of D-X household oil:

And a mechanical pencil, filled with oil, with ball bearings inside:

[This message has been edited by thermactor (edited 07-02-2007).]
Next up: Some really awesome images from a 1943 issue of the "Diamond." This was a magazine published by Mid-Continent, intended for employees and distributors. This particular wartime issue is completely patriotic from cover to cover. War bond ads, stories of employees serving the country at war, and writeups on their families at home. I've scanned a few tiny samples of this issue, as Maurice Campbell has generously sent it to me to share with all of you.

First up, here is a picture from the rear cover:

And a couple photos with captions from some articles inside:

It's rather refreshing to see true patriotism expressed in a publication like this. Shamefully, love and support of one's country seems to be almost looked down upon in recent years.
Here's a full page "ad"

This graph I found really interesting:

Thanks for sharing this with us, Maurice!

[This message has been edited by thermactor (edited 07-02-2007).]
Great job on this Company of the Month.
We both share the enthusiam of collecting Diamond and D-X Oil collectibes and their history.
Again, Great Job!!

[This message has been edited by souperhigh (edited 07-02-2007).]
Wes, thank you for all of your work. Enjoyed every bit of it. Learned alot!
Thanks, Paddy
Great job, Wes. Sorry I didn't get a chance to post any pics of my D-X stuff but was out on vacation most of the month. Just my luck.
Thanks so much for sharing all this ifo and pictures..Sunray-DX has been my favorite company since 1977.. An oil field lease in Harper county Okla. changed owners and I was lucky enough to get the lease signs and 18 of the 24" "curb signs". these signs were mounted in galvanize frames the shape of the signs and bolted to flow lines on top of tank batteries..only got one of the later 55-57 signs. I called it the "albino" as I didnt know why it was differant..I cant believe it now, but back at that time I would take a couple to swap meets and and do good to get $65 for a nice one...I did keep three, but the rest is long gone. Also Still have a few lease and danger signs, which I think is so neat with the colorful logos..Thanks again as this is way more than I ever knew about this co. RD
Back when ya could by well head signs for $5-15, I cut the SUNRAY & SUNRAY D-X logos out, then threw away the rest of the sign. Now a nice one sells for $175-200.
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