IT TAKES TIME BUT IT GETS HER DONE. I also have one that works the same, minus tie v belt part. as stated it works great! I also bought mine at a BLACKSMITH AUCTION foe $10.00 also. I bring it to blacksmith get together's to show it off!!
I believe the original post photos are of a hand crank only drill press, missing the crank. The wheel on the side would be a fly wheel so once it was up to speed, inertia would help keep it turning so you didn't have to put as much effort into cranking it. The caption also says hand crank.....
I started work in a machine shop here in the UK .All our machinery was run by belts. The power came from a twenty horse ,3phase electric motor . The belts did hurt when they came off gave you a good slap usually but we had a four spindle production drill where the belts ran horizontally , now they would cut you up if the wire claw fastener caught you in the face .
As the youngest apprentice ,15yo as I was , it was my job to wax the belts . I still have a bench top mill and a flat belt lathe