Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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British Celanese

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June 1933.
November 1933.
December 1934.
January 1944.
April 1944.
May 1944.
September 1951. Celanese Fabrics.
December 1954. Celanese Jersey.
October 1954.

of Celanese House, Hanover Square, London, W1. Telephone: Mayfair 6000. Cables: "Celanese, Wesdo, London". (1929)

Ditto Address. Telephone: Mayfair 8000. Cables: "Celanese, London". (1947)

The company has seen many changes over the years and is now Celanese based in Dallas, Texas.

The origins of the company lie with two brothers, Henri and Camille Dreyfus. In 1912, they set up "Cellonit Gesellschaft Dreyfus and Co" in Basel, Switzerland.

1916 The brothers were invited to live in Britain by the British Government, to produce their recently developed cellulose acetate dope for the war effort; the canvas skins of aircraft of the time were sealed and made taut with nitrocellulose dope, which was easily ignited by bullets. They developed the necessary plant and the British Cellulose and Chemical Manufacturing Co was registered on March 18, 1916.[1]

1920 the enterprise was launched as a public company with the stated intention of making artificial silk by the cellulose acetate process.

1921 ­ Began commercial production of acetate yarn, taking advantage of a number of its new inventions, ranging from the technique used to spin thread to the treatment of dyed fibres, thus securing the company's survival. Marketed the yarn under the name of Celanese.

1922 As British Cellulose and Chemical Manufacturing Co - British Industries Fair Advert for Celastoid - a new safety Celluloid. Sheet, Rod, Tube. Transparent, Clear Colour, Ivory, Tortoiseshell, Amber, Marble, or Opaque Colours. "A New British-made Material for use in the Manufacture of all Fancy Goods, Windscreens, Toilet Goods, Electric Light Fittings, Show-Cards, etc." (Stand No. K.55) [2]

1923 The company changed its name to British Celanese Limited.

1927 ­ The American Cellulose and Chemical Manufacturing Co changed its name to Celanese Corporation of America. The company would move on to produce plastics and chemicals, as well as fibres as one of the largest chemicals manufacturers in the country.

1929 British Industries Fair Advert for Celastoid and Cellastine synthetic plastic materials. Non-flammable Celluloid; Cellastine Moulded Rods and Sheets; Cellastine Moulding Powders. Cellulose Acetate Dopes. (Fancy Goods Section - Stands No. J.106 and J.117) [3]

1930­ Celanese Corporation of America commenced trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

1937 Aeroplane dope and lacquers. [4]

1939 See Aircraft Industry Suppliers

1947 British Industries Fair Advert for "Celanese" Plastics. Mouldings, Fabrications and Laminations. Sheets, Rods, Tubes, Sections, Foils and Moulding Powders; and Chemicals. Proprietors of the trade mark "Celanese". (Plastics Section- Earls Court, 1st Floor, Stand No. 856)

1947 British Industries Fair Advert for "Celanese" Fashion Fabrics. Manufacturers of "Celenese" Textiles - Yarns, Fabrics and Garments. (Textiles Section- Earls Court Ground Floor, Stands No. 100 and 101) [5]

1956 British Nylon Spinners licensed British Enka and British Celanese to make Nylon 6[6].

1956 Camille Dreyfus, one of the founders of Celanese died. He was President of Celanese Corporation of America for 27 years. Following the death of his brother and co-founder, Henri Dreyfus in 1945, Camille Dreyfus was also Managing Director of British Celanese.

1957 Acquired by Courtaulds

1963 British Celanese (part of the Courtaulds Group) formed British Trix and purchased the goodwill and patents of Trix Products for £1 and a production base was set up at the British Celanese factory in Wrexham. Ernst Rozsa was placed in charge of design and development but later took full responsibility for production.

1965 Courtaulds invited Lines Brothers to take Trix off their hands.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • [1] Celanese Profile
  • [2] British Celanese History
  • Biography of Henry Dreyfus, ODNB