I have just rewired my house and I used a method similar to this on the lighting so that all the switchdrops were in the same box. I had each box on one circuit breaker.
It uses more cable but it saves having dozens of JBs all over the place. I couldnt use ceiling roses as i have downlights and LED lighting under the floor so it seemed to be the obvious choice - inspired by this very Henley Octopus.
I chose to use PVC/PVC cable instead of the lead used here
I took my time, I hurried up, The choice was mine, I didn't think enough
Every day is a School Day! I have been doing the job for 30+ years and now own my own Electrical Contracting Company [previously worked for my family business]...I have NEVER seen one of those and we have worked on some 'weird stuff'!!
Suppose it is the forerunner of the Honeywell CH wiring centre...just a plastic box with choc-block in it. On a slight tangent....is it still contra to the regs to use poly [polyethyl] ene choc block? Cannot remember the reg exactly but it goes something like....all cable joints should be equivalent to, or better than, the cables being joined regarding temp withstand, insulation etc. Poly choc block has a lower melting point than the PVC or Nylon 66 version. There again, none of these can be used in Churches and we have to use porcelain connectors with brass screws. Then when we go to do an inspection it fails and we have to explain why as it is usually one of the congregation who has 'helped them out'.
I have seen quite a few of those "octopus" boxes, but a rectangular version. A local council estate, built in the late 60s used them in every house and they came with a kind of "wire-by-numbers" set up. Basically, pre-cut lengths of cable with labels on either end. All the semi-skilled electricians had to do was put them in place as per plan. The skilled guys then did the testing and inspection - just shows that even back then they wanted to cut labour costs!
In Austria at that time you'd have most likely found a wood frame with open back plastered into the brick wall, containing a thick bunch of all black cloth wires, twisted and taped together. Until the advent of PVC boxes and PVC insulated wires in the 1960s (though cheapskates continued using old metal boxes and conduit well into thee mid 1960s) that was the only wiring type used in construction. To improve the dielectric properties of the cotton covering that stuff was drenched with tar (at least that's what it looks like), turning everything in a black mess. There's hardly anything that gives you worse black hands than that! Well, the old cloth electrical tape is similar, but also sticky...