John Buttikofer, originally from Switzerland, started in the piano industry working for illustrious names such as Erard and Pape of Paris. In 1839, Buttikofer immigrated to New York City to establish his own firm manufacturing piano-fortes. His first workshop was listed as 33 Warren Street, and by the mid-1840s he had expanded and moved to 228 Church Street. By 1845, Buttikofer had established himself as a premier piano maker. Buttikofer never built pianos in very large numbers, and remained a small, high-end maker until going out of business sometime in the 1890s.