What I find interesting, is all the odd looking db scales. They date back to the early days of telephone signals, which I guess would explain why they deal with stuff like 600 ohm resistances.
I know exactly what you mean. Prior to about the 1960s the world had a million different ways of doing the same thing, nothing was standardized. If you ever get the chance to do so, take a look at some of the instruments on a world war II ship.