New Canaan Now & Then: I.B. Woundy Company

Before the Mobil Gas Station occupied the corner of Cherry Street and South Avenue it was home to I.B. Woundy Company, Inc seen in the extreme right of the photograph. Theodore W. Benedict had run an electrical business there.  When Benedict decided to work for his family’s shoe manufacturing company, he sold his business to his friend, Ira B. Woundy.  The purchase closed on March 17, 1906.  Mr. Woundy rode his motorcycle to job sites the first year, but then purchased one of the first four-cylinder models put out by Ford. 

Woundy enrolled in a correspondence class to learn his trade and, according to an article in the Electrical Record dated August 1928, his ability to learn from mistakes helped his business thrive. Woundy’s first customer was Lucius M. Monroe who had two sockets installed in his drug store on Main Street. The cost was $1.20 – sixty-five cents for the sockets and the balance for labor.  Woundy also wired the first house in New Canaan for Gilbert F. Stevens at a cost of $25.50. Woundy’s success was attributed to his keen business sense, careful analysis of overhead costs, specialization, and helpful demeanor.