The 1920s were big years for new manufacturing in Cumberland.
As well as the opening of the Kelly-Springfield tire plant in 1921, the first spool of acetate yarn was spun in America at the newly built plant in Cumberland, Maryland on Christmas Day, 1924.
The local Chamber of Commerce had worked with the community to secure the Kelly-Springfield plant, and followed similar tactics to win the American Cellulose & Chemical Manufacturing Company (known as Amcelle. The company produced artificial silk, then later permanent-press and polyester.
In 1924, Amcelle employed 220, by 1944 10,700, and 13,000 workers by the mid-1960s. It was boom times for Cumberland.
The Celanese Fibers plant struggled through temporary closings and curtailed operations until it closed in 1983.
There was a constellation of reasons for the closure. Amcelle, like other industries at the time moved plant operations south to cut labor and production costs. The fabric market was changing, and consumers turned away from man-made fibers toward cotton, but the company persisted with a single-minded focus on acetate.