John Oehrlein was one of the more colorful piano manufacturers of the late 19th Century. Oehrlein is first listed as a beer seller and saloon owner in the 1860s at 416 Sixth Avenue, New York City. In 1872, Oehrlein is listed as a piano maker building pianos under his own name, with a workshop located at 313 Sixth Avenue. Apparently Oehrlein remained active in his saloon and beer businesses while manufacturing musical instruments. During his career John Oehrlein also built violins as well as pianos, and possibly manufactured organs and melodeons as well. In 1881, Oehrlein admitted his son, Gustave into partnership, reestablishing their firm as 'John Oehrlein & Son'. This partnership was dissolved in about 1883, and John Oehrlein continued business under his own name until about 1890.