Cuno, Charles


Charles F. Cuno, the president of the Cuno Engineering Corporation of Meriden, is entitled to the honor given a self-made man, for the gratifying measure of success which he has gained is the direct result of his own industry and good management.

  He was born in Berlin, Germany, February 3, 1863, a son of Charles and Ernestina Cuno, both deceased. After completing a public school course he entered a polytechnic school, from which he was graduated in 1879. The following two years were spent in experimental work in the physics’ laboratory but in the fall of 1881 he emigrated to America. He made his way at once to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and there secured work at a mechanical trade at a wage of one dollar per day. It was necessary that he earn some money immediately and as he had no influential friends to secure him a position for which he was fitted by his education he accepted the work available. He proved very efficient and carefully saved his money with the result that in a short time he was the owner of a machine shop, in which he did a great deal of experimental work. Later he turned his attention to electrical engineering and in 1887 he became superintendent of the railway company at Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, in which connection he built an electric railway from that point to Milwaukee. After three and a half years spent with that company he became general manager of the electric light plant and waterworks at Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, where he remained for ten years, during which time he installed a new and up-to-date water system. He next entered the electrical construction field and built a large number of isolated lighting plants for prominent people, including Montgomery Ward & Company, Henry Shufeldt, E. C. Simmons, George Bullen and L. C. Merrick. He also constructed the plant for the Oconomowoc Sanitarium, which was quite a large contract as the grounds cover eighty acres. In 1907 Mr. Cuno came to Meriden as chief engineer and designing engineer of the Connecticut Telephone & Electric Company, with which concern he remained for six years. Since that time he has been in business on his own account under the name of the Cuno Engineering Corporation, his son being associated with him in the business. At first only one employe was needed but the trade has increased to such an extent that there are now thirty employes. The company manufactures, under patents owned by Mr. Cuno, a variety of high grade automobile accessories, including dash lights, tonneau lights and also other articles of wide use, such as timers for gas engines and cigar lighters. The annual business of the company has now passed the one hundred thousand dollar mark and is steadily growing as the goods manufactured have gained an enviable reputation for excellence as customers once gained are usually retained.

  In 1882 Mr. Cuno was married in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Miss Amelia Schimelpfennig, by whom he has a son, Charles H., who married Mildred Wood, a daughter of F. L. Wood, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work.

  Mr. Cuno gives his political allegiance to the republican party but has never had the time nor inclination to seek office. He belongs to the Colonial Club and to the Modern Woodmen of America and in religious faith he is a Congregationalist. Since his arrival in Meriden a decade ago he has gained a highly creditable place in business circles and has won many warm friends, who hold him in high regard.

Modern History of New Haven
Eastern New Haven County


Volume II

New York – Chicago
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company 

pgs 619 - 620

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pages / text are copyrighted by
Elaine Kidd O'Leary &
Anne Taylor-Czaplewski
May 2002