Gottschalk Diederich Baedeker (1778-1841), whose father Zacharias Gerhard Diedrich Baedeker, with the title Fürstlichen Essendischen Hofbuchdruckers was a newspaper publisher in Essen, founded his firm in Essen in 1798. It was a retail bookshop, printer and publisher, publishing mainly Protestant choral music during the 19th century. One of Baedeker's eight children, Karl (1801-1859) founded the famous guidebook company in Coblenz in 1827.
G. D. Baedeker finally became part of the Thalia group in 2007, and the imprint ceased after over 230 years. A G. D. Baedeker foundation still operates in Essen, awarding an annual prize for science research at the local university.