William Knabe & Company (not to be confused with Knabe Brothers) is one of the most illustrious and respected names in the American piano industry. William Knabe entered into partnership with William Henry Gaehle in 1839, forming firm of “Knabe & Gaehle” in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1854, W. H. Gaehle withdrew giving complete control to Knabe, and the name was changed to “Wm. Knabe & Company”. Wm. Knabe & Co. built some of the finest pianos in American history. Knabe’s patents were numerous, and their many innovations aided in improving piano design and evolution well into the 20th Century.
In 1908 Knabe was purchased by The American Piano Company. During the early 20th Century the firm built some of the finest, most elaborate and expensive pianos in American history. Knabe was so successful that it became the “Official Piano of the Metropolitan Opera” in the 1920s.
Knabe was not immune to the financial hardships of the Great Depression, and in 1932 the firm was absorbed into the conglomerate giant Aeolian-American Corporation. During this era, their factories located in Each Rochester, New York. All through the 20th Century, the Knabe name continued to be synonymous with the best in quality and workmanship. The Knabe name was bought by the Asian piano giant Young-Chang in the 1990s, and the Knabe name is still being produced today.
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