Steinway & Sons, one of the most infamous piano manufacturers, has its New York City establishment in no other neighborhood than Astoria, Queens. The German-American piano manufacturing company was founded in 1853 by German immigrant Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg (later changed to Henry E. Steinway during the immigration process) was initially located in a Manhattan loft on Varick Street. Heinrich was a master cabinetmaker who built his first piano in the kitchen of his home in Germany. Heinrich emigrated from Germany to America in 1850 with his wife and six of their seven children. The son who remained in Germany continued making Steinweg brand pianos.
In 1870, William Steinway bought farmland in northern Astoria and moved the Steinway piano factory to Queens. William not only moved the factory but built a professional community around it for the workers and the community. William had homes, churches, a school, a post office, a library, a fire department, and a trolley line built for his workers and his new neighborhood. After his improvements on the town’s infrastructure, the community became known as Steinway Village. Steinway Village later became part of Astoria and Long Island City, also giving name to one of the major streets of Astoria, Steinway Street.