This is a little bit like Antiques Roadshow—online version.
A battered film cannister and contents, described “as an old film,” sold on eBay for £3.20. Luckily, someone recognized it:
Morace Park, who lives in Essex, England, bought the battered olive green film canister listed as “an old film” for £3.20, and found the title Charlie Chaplin in Zepped inside.
His neighbour, John Dyer, former head of education at the British Board of Film Classification, knew the legend of the lost seven-minute film that includes a Zeppelin bomb attack. Released in 1916, it was believed to be World War I propaganda to reduce fear in Britain of German airship attacks, but the film vanished years ago.
It seems to be a copy of a 7-minute Charlie Chaplin short film mocking Zeppelins. The film was meant to lift British Commonwealth spirits during World War I. Rather than being filmed for the purpose, it seems to have been content re-use of outtakes from other Chaplin films, Zeppelins, and other material.