Rudolph Wurlitzer established his company in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1853. Wurlitzer originally imported stringed, woodwind and brass instruments from Germany for resale in the U.S.. In 1880 the company began making pianos. Eventually the company relocated to North Tonawanda, New York and quickly expanded to make band organs, orchestrions, nickelodeons and pipe or theater organs. Wurlitzer also sold guitars, made for them by other companies.