Carl Sauter, I
1846. Grimm’s nephew, Carl Sauter I (1820-1863), takes over after Johann Grimm’s passing and very quickly becomes accomplished at managing the piano factory. In 1846 he changes the business to his own name. It is under the leadership of Carl I that the business becomes very well established. In order to obtain a piano, potential customers have to come to the townhouse in Spaichingen to draw lots on who will be in line for the next instrument. Of course, the pianos have to be prepaid.
Carl I continues the Viennese tradition of piano building which is reflected in both the action and the sound philosophy of the instruments. It is also during these times that the Sauter family and in particular that branch that had the majority stake in the factory, is deemed one of the most influential families in the region. In these years the factory primarily supplies instruments to the surrounding areas: Northern Switzerland, Eastern France, and of course the south west of Germany and all the surrounding areas of the Black Forest. The death of Carl I comes unexpectedly and prematurely, and is a shock to everyone.
After Carl’s early death, his widowed wife manages the company for many years. While she hopes that her eldest son Johann will swiftly take over the company, this will not occur for a while.