Gustav Zander was a Swedish physician who created over 70 different exercises "machines" at the turn of the century. Zander's machines were very meticulously designed with a very intricate system of pulleys, pendulums and counter-balances which accounted for the leverages of the human body.
Each machine developed a particular area of the body. The machine shown above was for training forearm extension.
Also, despite their obvious similarities in appearance, Arthur Jones had no prior knowledge of Gustav Zander or his machines when he designed the Nautilus Machines. (Which actually function quite a bit differently.)