This is one of the old switches that the Mike (the electrician) replaced today. Pretty crazy. Scott, Mikes helper said he looked in one of his books and from what he can tell it is from the 1930's. If you double-click the picture you can see it is spring loaded and two arms (one on each side). the arms flip down or up depending on which way the switch is moved. I can just visualize a spark being created everytime the lever is flipped. Glad I don't have a meth lab in the basement with all the highly explosive chemicals needed to make that stuff. One word (and it is my favorite after the dryer incident) BOOM!
In the first image, again if you expand the picture you can make out something that you don't see very often in this day. A stamp that says "Made in the USA" also above it is stamped H&H or H&K. I did a quick search and found this: http://www.h-hgroup.com/ I am not sure if it is the same company, but their website says they have been around since 1901.
One can look at it as a testimony to good ol' solid american engineering and craftsmanship. I mean if this was stuck in a wall 70+ years ago and still works today that has to say something. I wonder if one of todays switches would last that long?
This is a keeper. Maybe I will make a shadow box with all the old stuff I find from the house along the way.
Mike said that they should be done Friday sometime and that most everything is going pretty good, some places were and are hard to get the new wire into and they have found a few outlets installed without being in a electrical box at all. Amazing. I guess that is why they have electrical codes now. For the good.