.I want to dedicate these pictures to all the handymen and "ELECTRICIANS" WHO SAY THAT "THE OLD CLOTH-COVERED WIRE IS OK AS LONG AS YOU DON'T TOUCH IT."
These are all real-life examples of deteriorated cloth-covered wire that were still in use, carrying 120v current, waiting to burn the house down. It always BREAKS my HEART when I come into a house where the walls and ceilings are freshly painted, there is nice new tile on the kitchen wall and stainless steel appliances gleaming, and the defective, dangerous wiring has been just ignored (or sometimes hidden) by unscrupulous rehabbers who know "out of site is out of mind."
Quality electrical work is not inexpensive, and its not nearly as fun or sexy as a cool new IKEA light fixture. But Please, please, please be sure you get a bona-fide electrician to evaluate the actual wiring if you are purchasing an older (1950 or earlier) home, or condo in a building that age. It can save your life and your purse or wallet!