Refining in Tulsa: The Cosden Legacy Digital Collection

J. S. (Joshua) Cosden was born in Kent County, Maryland in 1882. He came to Bigheart, Oklahoma in 1908 and later relocated to Tulsa. In 1913, Cosden and Company began operating their West Tulsa refinery, two miles upstream from the Texas Co. (later Texaco) refinery. At that time, the refinery had a total capacity of less than 5,000 barrels of crude a day. Two years later, the refinery added 97 miles of pipeline to connect the plant to the famous Cushing oil field. This pipeline was the forerunner of the 3,500 mile Mid-Continent pipeline system. Cosden and Company changed their name to Mid-Continent Petroleum Corporation in 1925 and then merged with Sunray in 1955 to form Sunray Mid-Continent Oil Co. Sunray merged with Sun Oil in 1968.

Though the dates for all items are not available, the digital collection mainly covers the time period prior to 1968, before any subsequent mergers or acquisitions. It is a small but notable collection, featuring employee images and company publications. There are duplicate versions of several of the images in the collection. In one version, individuals in the photography are hand-numbered. The duplicate version is unnumbered. Both versions are available online. The photographs are made accessible for fair use purposes, but, due to copyright concerns, online access to the publications has been restricted. For information about these items, please contact us:

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