Wow...

That's some seriously old equipment! A device labeled 32 in diagram and you have in your hand in two photographs is called a "vibrator" and is a mechanical device to create AC from DC. It was notoriously unreliable when new and probably more so now. Picture 28 shows the contacts are quite pitted. It, at minimum, require a good cleaning. When it fails, I don't think you can find a replacement. Likely, this device is used when the unit is in battery operation only - to step up and charge a large capacitor bank. I say all this because I am not sure I would recommend spending all that money to refit this with a new set of batteries.

Anyway, nice find and it will surely make an interesting project. I am just not sure if it's practical try to use this in portable operation.