This is one of several pages relating to the history of the automatic totalisator, its invention in 1913, the inventor George Julius and the Australian company he founded in 1917 which became a monopoly ( later an oligopoly ) in this field. This page is a continuation of the photo gallery which displays images relating to early totalisators.
|Photo Gallery continued|
This is a continuation of a set of photographs, lent to me by Frank Matthews, relating to totalisator history and the company Automatic Totalisators.
|Adders and switch board for win place and forecast, White City London 1933.
In July 1998 I visited White City London. I found what used to be the Stadium where the dog track operated. It is now a BBC building.
|The adding equipment at White City Stadium London 1933. This system ended up with 320 terminals!|
|The main switch board and scanners, which can be seen at the bottom of the racks, for the Win Place and Forecast tote in White City London.
There is some technical text on the back of another close up image of this control switch board. I have included it here for the technically minded.
Cut out Relays wired in distributor common so that any excess amperage due to overlapping of bets from TIMs or faulty circuit breaker in any TIM in the group. Cut out relay is set to trip at just under 2A usually 1.85A. Thus if any TIM maintains its betting circuit unduly the plunger of cut out has time to rise and open its own circuit. If two issuers, by a wiring error, were on one TIM relay and betted simultaneously the cut out would instantly come out owing to the excessive amperage thus revealing the fault at once.
|Longchamps Racecourse France circa 1929. The rectangular boxes in this building are totalisator indicators. This photo may have been taken prior to the opening of the Julius tote as it seems to be a raceday and there are no counters yet visible in these windows. The Julius tote that this building housed was nicknamed "The Insatiable Moloch" by a Paris newspaper. I took a photograph of this building in 2008 long after The Insatiable Moloch had been superseded by a computer totalisator in 1973 at which time this Julius tote had been operating for 45 years. The life span of computing systems has certainly changed since then!|
|This is the first Automatic Totalisators machine shop. I find it interesting that the lathe operator in the foreground is wearing a waistcoat or vest with a watch chain.|
|This photograph was taken in the factory, the equipment was for Brough Park Newcastle upon Tyne. It is 10 single shaft 6 escapement adding units on one frame. This represents one third of the Forecast Combination adding units since there are 30 possible combinations in a six dog race.|
|The world's first Odds Computer, invented in 1927 by ATL as recorded in the booklet ATL international name in totalisator betting systems.|
|Selling windows with ticket issuing machines at Harold Park in 1958. These look like J10 Ticket Issuing Machines.|
|The inside of a J1 ticket issuing machine 1916. This image shows the TIM with its covers removed. The top of the TIM has buttons to operate it. This TIM was patented in 1914. There is a link in the links page which can be accessed by following the navigation bar at the bottom of this page to the index and then selecting the last chapter 3 More Systems in Asia/Links to Other Pages, to IP Australia where the patent for the J1 is used as an example.|
|The inside of a J1 ticket issuing machine 1916. This image shows the top of the TIM with its side covers in place and the top cover hinged open.|
|The inside of a J6 Ticket Issuing Machine 1935. This photograph shows the TIM in its raised position which provides easy access for maintenance work. Normally the TIM is in a horizontal position and swings on hinges at the bottom of this photo which leaves the controls which are on the other side of the machine flat with the bench top.|
|Julius Organ Company Of Australia|
I have included this small section of interest here as this is a page with little text. This section is an example of the diverse subjects that this history embraces.
In February 2014 I received an email from Fred Hawkins, indicating that he was a member of a group recording the history of electronic organs. He was seeking more information on the subject. It was not long before that I was informed that Automatic Totalisators used to manufacture organs through its subsidiary the Julius Organ Company Of Australia. I broadcast an email to the Ex ATL network to see if anyone could provide more information as I had none. Following are the pertinent replies.
Very surprised that there is interest in the ATL Premier Organ project, Its now a long time ago.
I worked for Stromberg Carlson from 1952 until it closed manufacture in 1962, nine years and 10 months. During most of the period I worked in the Stromberg development department as one of the technicians that assisted the senior engineers in the engineering and design of many products. Radio, Television, circulating fans, lawn mowers, Organs etc. It was an era of change, the transistor was only just coming into general production.
The SC Marketing manager Alan Freedman would travel to America annually looking for new advances in consumer technology, he would buy examples of innovative products and send them back to SC's development department, together with the marketing people evolved into new models for local markets. On one occasion Alan sent back two organs, a desk top 22 key toy reed organ, which was good fun to play as the keys were numbered with sheet music also numbered. The other was a Thomas single manual electronic organ, which was selling very well in the USA. It was decided to reverse engineer this organ after obtaining a licence from Thomas. I worked on the project from start to finish “Australianising” all of the electronics and devising the production set up. When all this work was completed I was appointed supervisor of the organ production department. I had a staff of 8-10 all girl immigrants with little English but willing workers. On a daily basis 10 organs a day were made and delivered to the SC distribution company. I was re-assigned back to the development department where we continued to develop a more sophisticated organ.
At this time SC had a general manager, a Harry Ibbotson, a keen organist he also had a good ear for musical tones. I spent many weeks trying to perfect the sounds, musical instruments that it would reproduce over the whole key board. Clarinets and flute tones were particularly difficult to achieve. Early in 1962 SC was in financial difficulties and production stopped; I was given notice finishing in early May 1962.
Harry Ibbotson was now general manager of Automatic Totalisators where he had developed the Julius Premier organ based on the Thomas /SC design. When he learned that there was several SC engineers looking for a job he contacted them including me and six ex SC engineers started new careers at ATL. I started work as the manager of the Julius Organ manufacturing department, on the 23 of May 1962
A staff of three produced three organs a week. Each organ was made to order depending on where it was to be used. We produced many models with variations, tape deck, head phones, radio, record players, bass boost amplifiers and huge speaker housings capable of delivering 120 watts, measured with C played on the pedal clavier which represented a 16 foot pipe.
The Thomas Organ used a shared note system of three adjacent notes on the same tone generator most musicians detected this anomaly; others did not notice the sometimes missing note.
Because the organ department did not have the returns on investment ATL sold the organ business to an enthusiast who continued to make the remainder of the production batch.
I do not have any memorabilia, relating to the organ, however if I can supply any further information please ask.
Neville is pictured above in Melbourne December 1965 after 11 months of work on the four Melbourne city race tracks. I have included this image as it was taken at a time not too far distant from the Julius Organ era. Additionally Bruce Rutter mentions Neville and his work on the Melbourne City racetracks below.
I recall that the General Manager (a Harry Ibbotson) was an organist, and that as we walked down that long corridor from Research, up to the lunchroom at the other end of the building, the melodious sounds of an organ could often be heard wafting from the 'showroom' upstairs at Meadowbank.
I certainly can confirm that we manufactured electronic organs. We sold one to the Catholic Church at Norwood ( I think) an Adelaide suburb in about 1964. It was just before I was appointed as the S A manager and Jimmy Sharpe our SA Engineer used to be called upon to maintain the Organ and I was under the impression it was a bit of a "hot potato" which we were keen to disown. I am unsure of Jimmy's health or whereabouts now.
And a later email:
Great to get your update re the Julius Organs and to read Neville Mitchell's memories of their manufacture. I did not know the history of their existence and apart from Jim Sharpe's experience in Adelaide they were gone before I commenced in Sydney with the Company in September 1964. At that time we were very busy with the first Australian computer system for the Melbourne tracks Neville was very much associated with its installation in Melbourne. See the photograph of Neville above taken after the completion of the Melbourne installation. I was transferred to Adelaide in May 1965 so was not so involved with the factory. After 5 years in Adelaide I had a couple of years in Melbourne before returning to Sydney.
Joe Norris was a great historian on the Company and used to relate stories of activities at Alice St Newtown where I believe it was involved in the War effort during W W 2. Bob Stone and Rod Richards were before my time but I had quite a bit to do with Merv Reid and Grahame Collins - nice guys.
Inside one of the Brisbane tote mobiles
In the above photo, Bruce is on the far right hand side and I, Brian am on the far left hand side. This photo was taken in 1979 during the opening period of the new computer totes that superseded the Julius Totes on the Queensland racetracks. The other two people in the photograph is Dale on the left, a leading programmer and Bob, a long serving Engineering Manager of Automatic Totalisators
I remember going to Southport to finish off a nurse call system with communication to supervisors desk, radio controller, etc in the ladies cancer hospital. Many things were tried including stove clocks which were not very reliable but I think S.L. over-ruled inspection and sent them out. Then one or two big trucks returned them and someone may have been asked to leave. Seems a long time ago.
Whilst I was at ATL in 1961/62 there was talk about Totes making Electronic Organs. Working back one night there was an organ recital at the factory in the canteen area, which was quite an unusual event and pleasant to listen to. This recital possibly had something to do with the organ manufacture, apart from that there is nothing else that I know of.
One other thing that did catch my eye at that time, was bench work being done on a jet propulsion unit for a boat, I take it to be a replacement for an outboard motor, I do not know if anything ever came of the project.
My its a long time ago now since I first met you. Do you remember interviewing me for the job on the radio production line in 1952? I had been working for a small radio repair shop in Chatswood for about a year when I became disillusioned with the routine work of repairing household appliances and radios, and the 5 1/2 day week.
I started on your radio production line, threading dial cord on radio gram chassis' sitting with a very fat lady who was a great instructor. I eventually was able to do most of the work of all the ladies on the line when one was absent.
I was moved into the development department working with Neville Oates, George Jenkins ,Harry Modell all under Allan Scott. I worked on the development of the first 17" television receiver and further TV models, with George Jenkins. I moved into transistor radio design and field testing. then I was involved in the reverse engineering of the Thomas organ including setting up the production line and initial production. Later I was involved with the design of an SC organ with a full keyboard and no shared notes. It was never finished as the company folded in 1962-3
Fred it is great to have you contact me after so many years, 60 to be exact...
Comments and suggestions welcome to firstname.lastname@example.org
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