Doh! The adult part of my brain, had I looked at it and asked myself what it was, would have known that was a lathe. But the ten-year-old kid in me who remembered it from my granddad's shop didn't. I should have looked it over with more critical eyes before I wrote.
I'll admit to no practical experience with machinery of this size and era. All my work is on a CNC mini-mill (XYZ table type) and one of the reasons I wouldn't consider it is my lack of expertise with working this stuff by hand. Now I have to go look up "Babbit bearings" and see what's special about them.
If that's the kind of thing the factory did to "modernize" their jackshaft machines, I'm surprised. It seems like a silly way to do it. Tho I guess it makes sense if you've decided you have to turn out the old-style and upgraded machines on the same line and make the upgrade strictly by adding parts instead of changing anything.
And it's disappointing to hear the voice of experience give it a $300 value. I don't doubt it, but but but.... yeah, that's the ten-year-old kid remembering the magic of granddad's shop again, or the visitor to the museum appreciating the history of things. To a practical machinist, things are different. And there, I'm sure your expertise exceeds mine by orders of magnitude.