I'm trying to replace a broken adjustable switch fixture in my house. I'd like to replace the switch myself. However, I am a total novice, so I am reluctant to proceed without understanding what I'm seeing. Unfortunately, the wiring in this (old?) switch box does not seem to match any diagrams I can find. So, I'd greatly appreciate any explanations as to what the different wires are in this switch box.
The house is old, built in 1939. Some of the old cables are metallic sheath. The box for the switch is metal. This adjustable switch was functional, but the mechanical parts of the switch broke. That's why it is being replaced.
The current (broken) switch fixture has two wires connected to it. As Image 1 shows below, there are three wires on the top right, and two wires on the top left.
There are two wires connected to the old adjustable light fixture. A reddish wire connects directly from the top right of the box to the right of the old fixture. (Image 1.) My guess is that this is the live line in. (Q1 - does this seem right?)
On the left of the old switch fixture, a whitish wire seems to connect via a cap to BOTH a wire from the top right and top left of the box. (Image 1.) The white wire seems like it must be the load out, but I'm confused why it connects to two wires, which seem to go in both directions out of the box. All the diagrams I have seen just show the load out as one wire. (Q2 - what are these two wires connected to the white wire on the old light fixture?)
Image 2 shows three additional wires that are capped together, and do not appear connected to the old light fixture. One of these wires comes from the top right of the box. Another comes from the top left. The last appears to connect somehow to the bottom of the box. I assume these are neutral wires, or maybe ground wires. However, I haven't seen any diagrams that have three wires for either purpose. (Q3 - what are these wires?)
Bonus Question: I want to connect a new single-pole fixture to this box. It has connections for live, load, and ground. Where would I connect each? My current guess is that I would just replace the connections to what I assume are the current live and load. For the ground, could I connect to the screw in the back of the box?
Thanks for your help with this novice's question.