The Archimedes drill predates the Yankee screwdriver by a few hundred years, but it works much the same way. When you drive the handle down in a linear motion, the small chuck at the right end of the threads spins the drill.
I found the picture above on an antique site — this particular Archimedes drill was designed for jewelers, to drill tiny holes in soft metal. I’m sure the torque is nothing to speak of, and the RPM is somewhere just above a plain old screwdriver, but this actually makes it perfect for a few applications.
The drill below, sold by Garrett Wade, accepts bits smaller than 1/16″. Though tiny bits are easy to break, with a drill like this you’ve got way more control and will probably see the flex in the bit before you break it.
The fact that you can buy this tool new makes the antique even cooler — because somebody is still using these.