A funny thing guys, I was looking at that picture of that box of cable staples. When I first started my time as an electrician, we had an area upstairs at work called "The Museum", most of it had stuff that we only used once in a while, but there was an area, that had stuff that was so out-dated it never got used, there was boxes and boxes of really old stuff from the 30's, the war years and the 50's. In amongst this stuff, I swear there was at least two boxes of these same insulated staples, back in the days when electricity was first put into houses over here, you had 2 single conductors, varnished cambric tinned copper wire was used and it was stapled along the timber framing in the house. So simple, but you didn't need a lot back then, having lights in your house, would have been a heap better than the old gas lamps (if you could get them), it just meant you had more visitors at night, coming to see this new- fangled lighting. One other thing we had upstairs was an old knife type 2 pole main switch rated at 80A per pole, it looked like something out of a Frankenstein movie, I kick myself for not getting a photo of that.
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green
There was an old catalog that I used to get from a company called Rejuvenations. They had the old electrical switches and things in there. Here by me, the houses are between 50-200 years old and some of them still have the old knob and tube wiring and switches, etc. So my customers could still replace their old switches with new modern ones that looked old. Try going to this location:
This site also has another old style that was popular around here it was called the Remcon Relay system. You would install the little relay in the box which fed you light and you ran a small low voltage wire down to the switch. It was momentary on/off to get your light to work. The best thing about this system, was that you could run 3, 5 ,6 or 8 switches down by your front door and you could use it as a master switch to turn on outside lights, garage lights, front door lights, and walkway lights all from the front door.