NOVA/PBS NOVAPBS
Perley's Aerial Bomber (USA)
In February 1863, two years after the start of the Civil War, an inventor from New York City named Charles Perley registered a patent for an unmanned aerial bomber. Perley designed a hot-air balloon that could carry a basket laden with explosives attached to a timing mechanism. The timer would trip the balloon's hinged basket, and the explosives would drop out, igniting a fuse in the process.

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