Nice photos to see.
I can identify the lab equipment on the bench (looks like my high school & college labs - 1970s) with the NiCad battery pak, EXCEPT for the rectangular box with metal handles to the right of the NiCads.
NiCad battery charger? Homwbrew power supply? http://n4hy.smugmug.com/gallery/2053069/1/105529591