The Gulbransen Piano Company was founded in 1904 by Axel W. Gulbransen in Chicago, Illinois. The company quickly established itself as a prominent piano manufacturer during the early 20th century. Gulbransen pianos were associated with several important innovations. The company held patents for piano mechanisms, including the Direct-Blow action, which aimed to improve the responsiveness and touch of the piano. They were known for their rich and warm tonal quality, innovations in piano action, and the popularity of their player pianos during the early 20th century.