When burning wood or coal to heat houses was the main way to do it, there were a lot of cinders. In the 1850s, this overproduction made a new block type. A normal house could make a lot of cinder waste in one winter, making it a cheaper aggregate. Concrete has been used for hundreds of years. Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians were the first to use simple concrete blocks. Historians even think that some of the pyramids were built with simple concrete.
Romans used concrete mortar as early as 200 AD. To make concrete, the Romans used local ingredients. Roman construction needed strong materials during this time, so concrete was a great choice for their infrastructure and buildings. In 1824, a British cement maker named Joseph Aspdin got a patent for modern concrete. Aspdin came up with the recipe for cement, which we still use today. The product he developed is called Portland cement. Harmon S. Palmer made the first hollow concrete block in the U.S. in 1890. By 1900, Palmer had gotten a patent for his idea. These concrete blocks were so heavy that one person couldn’t carry them alone.