I remember reading years ago, probably in Jack O'Conners writings, that before the invention of the drop shot tower, shot was made by cutting thin wire. Needless to say it was expensive, and didn't fly very straight. I seem to remember reading of square shot being used in "spreader loads" designed to open up patterns in tight shoothing guns.
I have read in older books of wire shot. I discounted the idea as a misprint or misinterpretation. Perhaps not.
No doubt there is room for improving S/G shot and patterns. For myself I am willing to accept a few holes in the pattern in favor of cheap ammo.
Quantity vs quality works for me!