The company had its origins in the Leipzig-based publishing company founded by Friedrich Wilhelm Garbrecht (d.1874) in 1862. Oscar Brandstetter acquired and renamed the company in 1880. By 1939 the firm employed nearly 2,000 people. Damaged during World War II the firm's facility was disassembled and expropriated. Wolfgang Brandstetter re-established the company in Wiesbaden where it currently specializes in technical and scientific publications.