Frederick William Nitschke started building pianos in New York City in about 1856. His firm was a very small-scale operation, and his first workshop was listed at 165 West 29th Street. In 1856, his son John joined the firm, and pianos were built under the name of Nitschke & Son. In 1858, pianos were listed as being sold under the name of John & William Nitschke. It seems that this firm specialized in building square grand pianos, and possibly upright pianos and melodeons as well. The firm continued to thrive and expand, ultimately being located at larger quarters on East 28th Street by the 1870s. There is no mention of this firm after about 1876.