The release of the Oil Development stamp coincided with the World Power conference that convened from 7th September to 11th September, 1958, in Montreal. Canada was host to some seventeen hundred delegates representing fifty two countries.
In the mid-nineteenth century, two men in Canada made valuable contributions to the development of oil. Dr. Abraham Gesner of Nova Scotia discovered kerosene and established its use for illuminating purposes. This discovery of kerosene, (also called coal oil) preceded the commercial production of crude oil. In 1857, James Miller Williams, a businessman from Hamilton, brought the first commercially successful oil well into production in North America. Mr. Williams found the oil lying on the surface in a hardwood swamp near Oil Springs, about twenty miles southeast of Sarnia. As a result of Canadian enterprise the pioneer work in refining petroleum became the basis for modern world-wide petroleum industry.
A stylized portion of an oil refinery printed in red within a drop of oil; to the left another drop enclosing a kerosene lamp of the last century.
The designer's initial can be found to the right of the oil refinery. The initial P belongs to Alan L. Pollock.