Masonite is made with wood fibers from pressing wood chips. The wood fibers are steam cooked and molded under pressure to form the shape. It was patented in 1924 by William H. Mason, a friend and student of Thomas Edison, in Laurel, Mississippi.
There are many different uses for Masonite throughout the world, particularly for protecting floors and walls. A floor can be lined with rosin paper and then topped with Masonite. Masonite has been used in the past for house siding; however, when used externally, the product can swell and rot. A similar product called hardboard, made in the United Kingdom, was made by pressing waste paper and dates back to 1898.