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. After leaving the firm of Knabe & Gaehle, William Gaehle began building his own instruments under the name of Gaehle & Company. Gaehle enjoyed much success with is firm, and his pianos were widely acclaimed as being of superior quality and craftsmanshop. Gaehle & Company continued building pianos until about 1875.
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.
William Knabe & Company 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.