This is Anthony’s Wireless Airship, it was a model used to demonstrate the capabilities of radio waves in remote control aircraft all the way back in 1912. This is, essentially, the great, great grand pappy of the modern Predator drone. It appears to be powered by a lead acid battery mounted in a wooden box with a radio receiver mounted towards the rear.

Official description: A small powered blimp used in 1912 to demonstrate remote control of aircraft by wireless telegraphy. Professor Anthony has exhibited a method of airship control of his own by wireless. He and Leo Stephens recently gave an exhibition of starting, controlling, turning and stopping an airship by wireless which was quite a long distance from the station which controlled its action.

Glass negative – George Grantham Bain Collection.

Information via Shorpy.

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