In 1839, William Henry Gaehle and William Knabe established a partnership forming the firm of Knabe & Gaehle in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1854, Gaehle withdrew giving complete control to Knabe, and the name was changed to William Knabe & Company. Knabe continued to build award winning pianos for over 150 years, making the Knabe name one of the most popular and respected names in piano history. W. H. Gaehle continued building pianos under his own name until the Civil War era. For a brief period, Gaehle went into partnership with Charles Maas, building pianos under the name of Gaehle & Maas. In 1865, Charles Maas started built pianos under his own name. Maas went out of business in 1885.