From accompanying information leaflet:
Foot Powered Former
Pedal opertain dirving a pulley which drove a small turning bit by way of leather blet. Seat was separate and sdjustable.
Wooden table was separate and adjustable.
Seat has "former" cast into it. Makers name cast into both sides of main main casting.
Cast into foot is "PAT'D FEB' AND MAR' 1870." (could be 1876)