One of America's older and more illustrious firms, Marshall & Wendell enjoyed a long and prosperous history. The firm originally began as Marshall & Traver in 1836 and their factories were in Albany, New York. The name was changed to Marshall, James & Traver in 1855 when Mr. A.C. James was admitted to the partnership. 'Marshall & Traver' and 'Marshall, James & Traver' specialized in building higher end square grand pianos, and these instruments are quite rare today. Sometime around 1870 James & Traver withdrew from the firm. Mr. Wendell was admitted into partnership, and the name of the firm was changed to Marshall & Wendell.
During the late 19th Century, Marshall & Wendell built several lines of square, grand, and upright pianos, all of superior quality. The firm also built a line of square grand pianos under the 'Parlor Gem' brand name as well as a line of upright pianos under the "Little Gem" and "Boudoir Gem" brand names during the late 19th Century era. In 1900 the firm moved headquarters from Albany to Rochester, New York. After the turn-of-the-century, Marshall & Wendell instruments continued to be considered top quality and extremely durable. The firm was absorbed into the Aeolian-American Corporation in the Great Depression era, and Marshall & Wendell pianos continued to be manufactured until the mid 1950s.