Jacob Kirchmann, a German harpsichord maker, immigrated to London in about 1740 changing his name to Kirkman. Jacob Kirkman was a very successful builder of harpsichords and forte-pianos in London, and he died a very wealthy man in 1778. Kirkman's sons continued in the manufacturing of pianos and harpsichords, and maintained their place in the European manufacturing industry well into the 19th Century. During the 19th Century, the firm became associated with the illustrious Collard & Collard Piano Company. Collard & Collard produced pianos under the Kirkman name until going out of business in 1960.