I make my living restoring old railroad equipment. I have seen this type of work quite alot. In its day it was the only way you had to join heavy wire.
The guy, and its a safe bet from the apparent age of the job, that it was a guy, was probably proud of the job he did when he was done.
Think about the time it took to set up the little forge, dress, heat and tin his solid copper soldering irons, hold the connection while he wound the wire around it, flux it, solder it, and wind the friction tape around it. Can you think of trying to present that bill to the customer today? Arent't insulated set screw connectors wonderful?
Thanks for letting me join in.