Jacob Zech was the pioneer of piano building in the Western United States. Zech is known for building the first piano built in San Francisco, a 6-octave square grand piano, in 1856. This first piano was widely exhibited with great praise and celebration. In the early years, Jacob Zech's shop was located at 111 Clay Street, San Francisco. Zech was known for using woods mostly grown in California and neighboring West Coast states, and his pianos were said to rival any of the finest makers back east. Zech built pianos of elaborate design, often using exotic woods and inlay. His instruments were known to be expensive and of the highest grade, and were often found in the finest homes and concert halls of the old west. Jacob Zech built a full line of uprights, square grands, and grand pianos throughout the middle and late 19th Century. There is no mention of Jacob Zech after about 1890, indicating the firm was likely out of business before the turn-of-the-century.