From A Dictionary of Music and Musicians

By John Alexander Fuller-Maitland, George Grove

STEINWAY AND SONS, an eminent firm of pianoforte makers in New York, distinguished by the merit of their instruments and by their commercial enterprise, which, in comparatively few years, have placed their firm in equal rank with those famous older makers in Europe whose achievements in the improvement and development of the instrument have become historical.

Henry Englehard Steinway (originally Steinweg) was born February 15, 1797, at Wolfshagen, in the Duchy of Brunswick. The youngest of a family of twelve, at the early age of 15 he was of 17 to 21 he served in the army, and during that time his natural taste for music led him to learn the zither. On his discharge, which was honorably obtained, from the army, he thought of becoming a cabinet-maker, but was too old to serve the five years apprenticeship and give years as journeyman which the guild required prior to his becoming a master. He therefore went for a year to an irregular master, and then turned to organ-building, which was free from the narrow limits of a guild. Circumstances however, allowed him in 1825 to marry and settle as a cabinet-maker at Seesen, near the Hartz mountains, where he had been already working; and in that year (Nov. 25) his eldest son Theodore was born.

Source: Fuller-Maitland, John Alexander and George Grove (1883). A Dictionary of Music and Musicians (A.D. 1450-1880). Macmillan. 709-11.

MoreMore Steinway history from A Dictionary of Music and Musicians