The firm of Philip Werlein was one of the south's most prominent and successful retailers and manufacturers of pianos. Established in New Orleans in 1843, Werlein started out selling several lines of square grand and upright pianos with heavy distribution in the southern states. Soon the firm was building pianos under the Werlein name. By the last part of the 19th Century, their square pianos were discontinued, and player pianos were added to their product line in the early 20th Century. Pianos sold under the 'Werlein' brand name were generally well made, durable instruments, and they were sold as an affordable alternative to the costlier brand names also sold by the firm in their large retail stores. The Werlein Company continued to be a major manufacturer and retailer throughout the 20th Century, but their instruments are rarely found outside of the southern United States.