As I recall, the "Noark" name was associated with Federal Pacific... The wood backing I think I'm seeing hints at some turn of the century piecemeal of equiptment. Is this just solely a fusible disconnect in this box?
If I remember correctly, the Colt Firearms Co. once had a division that produced electrical switches which had the term "Noark" also proudly displayed on its labels. I have a couple of nice examples of these products in my collection.
This box looks like a variation of boxes I've seen numerous times on your Website. They appeared to be made of some type of cast iron, mounted flush in the front brick wall of a building (maybe as a means of disconnecting power in case of a fire...?).
Notice also the bonding of the cast iron box in this example.
During a trip to San Antonio a few years back, I remember seeing boxes somewhat like this, surface mounted, on the outsides of various buildings in the older downtown sections of the city. The term "Noark" was cast into the iron cover, which was screwed into place.
Sven, my mom's house has a similar setup as the service equipment, though when you open the panel door you see a black module with a handle. Pull the handle and you have in your hands a double fuse holder. 100 amp fuses. No exposed wires or contacts either. Mounted in the basement just below the kilowatthour meter fed by an underground service. Federal Pacific brand. The fuses then feed a subpanel.
[This message has been edited by wa2ise (edited 10-14-2005).]
Apparently, they are designed to take the place of a breaker in panelboards by other manufacturers.
This particular installation looks really scary due to the corrosion, if for no other reason (that is assuming the deadfront is not lost, but merely leaned against the wall out of the picture). The fact that one cannot distinguish between rotten wood and rusty metal (which is it?) is symptomatic of this fact.
I have a NOARK metal nameplate I removed from a piece of residential service equipment I replaced about 30 years ago in my first house. It says 'Colts Patent Fire Arms MFG. Co. Hartford, Conn, USA'
It lists several patent dates between 1916 and 1919. It's a service disconnect, 60 A, 125/250V, 3 pole. The house it came out of was a two-family (upper and lower flats). Each flat had its own 30 amp 120V service. The place was built in 1898.