Edward G. Acheson heated clay and carbon in an iron bowl by passing a current between it and an arc light carbon. He found a few hard, sharp crystals, which he discovered to be silicon carbide. Acheson recognized their potential as an abrasive and merged “carbon” and “Corundum” to form the trade name Carborundum for his new product. He obtained a patent on his new material in 1893. The Carborundum Company was the second company to contract with the Niagara Falls Power Co. Production began on a four-acre plot of land on the upper river about ½ mile from the power plant.​

In 1924, the Carborundum Company constructed their world headquarters and administration building at 1625 Buffalo Avenue, just a few blocks from its operations. The colonial revival office building was designed by Kirkpatrick & Cannon, who also designed the Niagara Falls City Hall on Main Street and the Jefferson Apartment Building on Third Street. In 1936, two complimenting wings were added to the building, bringing the total square footage to over 80,000 square feet.