This page contains a photograph which is one of several belonging to the photo gallery pages which are part of several company and technology history pages relating to the invention of the world's first automatic totalizator in 1913 and Automatic Totalisators Ltd, the company founded to develop, manufacture and export these systems. This page relates to the Julius totalisator in Bombay (Mumbai) with some information on the Olympia Motor Speedway Maroubra.

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The Bombay Julius Tote Machine Room

This image shows the Julius Tote Machine Room at the Western India Turf Club in Bombay now known as Mumbai. This is the second enclosure according to the writing on the back of the photo. This installation was performed in 1925. This machinery is recording the total value of bets being sold on each runner per pool and the grand total investment on each pool and presenting these totals on displays, as seen in the grandstand image that follows this one in the photo gallery.

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The photographer's stamp on this photo reads FRED MITCHELL PHOTOGRAPHER BOMBAY

The Largest Automatic Totalisator in the World

This Julius Totalisator in Bombay, became the largest automatic totalisator in the world in 1926, winning the title from the Julius Totalisator at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney.

Following is a 1925 Referee newspaper article titled OFF TO INDIA which records Frederick Wilkinson's departure to Bombay in October 1925, extracted from the Trove newspaper archive on the Internet. Frederick was a prominent Automatic Totalisators Limited manager who started as a design engineer working on ticket issuing machines and later became the State Tote Manager of Automatic Totalisators Limited. He worked for the company for 30 years and participated in several of the company's overseas projects like this one. As State Tote Manager he would have spent much of his time at Randwick Racecourse, particularly as Automatic Totalisators Limited had an office at Randwick Racecourse:

Citation: 1925 'OFF TO INDIA.', Referee (Sydney, NSW : 1886 - 1939), 21 October, p. 3. , viewed 11 Feb 2017,


Mr. F. A. Wilkinson, manager of the Automatic Totalisator Ltd., leaves for India to-day. His trip is for the purpose of supervising the completion of the Totalisators which are being installed at Bombay.

It surprises me that the Automatic Tote's machines have not been adopted in France. Totalisator arrangements at Longchamps, where the Grand Prix is run, are very poor by comparison with those of Randwick.

It is interesting to note that the author of this 1925 article comments about the lack of a Julius totalisator at Longchamps. Rudolph Wilkinson, in relating that Frederick also worked on the Longchamps project almost answers this comment as it shows a Julius tote later was installed at Longchamps.

Rudolph F. Wilkinson, the son of Frederick Augustus Wilkinson wrote that Frederick also worked on the French project involving racecourses in France, notably Longchamps and that he actually lived in Paris for four and a half years whilst working on this project.

Following is a second National Library of Australia Trove newspaper archive article, which relates an annual shareholders meeting of Automatic Totalisators Ltd in December 1925, in which the Bombay Tote is referred to as, one of the largest in the world. It also mentions that the Bombay Julius totalisator operated the prior Saturday for the very first time.

Citation: 1925 'AUTOMATIC TOTALISATORS LTD.', The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), 21 December, p. 4, viewed 21 May, 2015,


At the annual meeting of shareholders of Automatic Totalisators Ltd., at Sydney on Wednesday last, the chairman, Mr. E. H. Buchanan, referred to the company's installations at the opening of Olympia Motor Speedway. The installations are an automatic starting machine, an indicator, and a race-timing machine. He also mentioned the fact that the company's totalisator at Bombay (India), one of the largest in the world, was used for the first time on Saturday last. It was announced that dividends would be payable on December 31. The report and balance-sheet were adopted, and Mr. F. W. Marks was re-elected a director. Messrs. M Donald, Witt, and Co., auditors, were reappointed.

Following is a third extract from a Trove newspaper article, which was written over a year later than the ones above and states that Bombay is the largest automatic Totalisator in the world. The Bombay system has become the largest in the world due to the installation of an additional 50 terminals in 1926 which brings the total up to 176 which exceeds the previous largest tote which was at Randwick with 150 terminals. This installation information has been extracted from a table titled Timelines - The Premier (Julius) totalisator in the Installations Testimonials - The Premier Totalisator chapter of this website. To read this, select the Go to the index button in the Navigation bar at the bottom of this page and then select the chapter just mentioned.

The subject of the article from which the following is extracted, is the Automatic Totalisators Ltd. installation at Longchamps in France.

Citation: 1927 'World's Biggest Tote.', The Midlands Advertiser (Moora, WA : 1907 - 1930), 1 April, p. 4, viewed 21 May, 2015,

Bombay at present has the largest automatic totalisator in the world supplied by the Australian, firm and it is learned that the Longchamps one will be at least three times the size of Indian one.
Although the above article recognises the largest automatic totalisator in the world as being the Julius totalisator in Bombay in 1927, this system will not hold this title for long. This system actually became the largest automatic totalisator in the world in 1926 as mentioned previously. The newspaper extract above already refers to the Longchamps Julius totalisator which snatched this title when it commenced operation in 1928 with 273 terminals. The Longchamps system will in turn loose this title to the later Julius totalisator in White City London which ended up with 320 terminals.

The timing equipment image at Maroubra Speedway The Olympia Motor Speedway Timing Machine

I have presented this image here as this is part of the Automatic Totalisators Ltd speedway automatic starting, indicator and race-timing machine, mentioned by Mr. E. H. Buchanan above, at the Automatic Totalisators Ltd shareholders meeting in December 1925, which is installed at The Olympia Motor Speedway. This speedway was also known as the Maroubra Speedway and it opened in December 1925, the same month as the shareholders meeting was held. It is claimed crowds of up to 70,000 used to attend the meetings held at this speedway and that it had a reputation as a killer track.

Fancy Line

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The Next page in this website looks at the Longchamps system in France, the next Julius totalisator to hold the title The Largest Automatic Totalisator in the World
The Previous page in this website looks at the Randwick system in Sydney, the previous Julius totalisator to hold the title The Largest Automatic Totalisator in the World

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