John B. Simpson started in the piano industry as secretary of the Arion Piano Company of New York City. Simpson was also building a small number of pianos under the name of 'Simpson & Company' during this time. In about 1870, Simpson purchased the Arion Piano Company, integrating it into the firm of Simpson & Company. In 1886, Simpson took Robert Proddow into partnership, and the name of the firm was changed to Simpson & Proddow. Before the turn-of-the-century, the large Estey Organ Company took control of Simpson & Proddow, changing the name to the now famous Estey Piano & Organ Company.