1940s apartment in New York City. It has two of these junction boxes high up on the wall (just below ceiling level).
We're in the process of planning remodeling and I'd like to just understand what these were originally used for, if possible. We may well decide to entirely leave them alone, and there is no known electrical fault anywhere, so this is really just a question for research / understanding.
The first one is quite large given the small size of its door and internal opening.
At the moment if you look inside there seem just to be modern-looking wires (not cloth insulation as there are in other places) that are connected together (with wire nuts). So they appear to just be acting the way modern junction boxes would be used. I'm being careful not to disturb anything.
Were these always just j-boxes? Or might they have had some other purpose originally?
Unfortunately the labels are pretty well unreadable but maybe someone familiar with these can still identify them.
Box 1 (~12x8"):
Box 2 (6x6"):