This page contains a photograph which is one of several belonging to the photo gallery pages which are part of several pages relating to the invention of the world's first automatic totalizator in 1913 and Automatic Totalisators Limited, the company founded to develop, manufacture and export these systems.

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The WATA's Julius Tote at Gloucester Park

This is the Western Australian Trotting Association's Tote Building housing a Julius Totalisator at Gloucester Park. I have included this photograph as it is the most spectacular night time photograph of a tote house I have seen. I know of two Julius tote installations here. The first was in 1916 which immediately followed the world's first at Ellerslie and the second in 1929, the one at the time this photograph was taken. The writing on the back of the photograph reads: New Machine Recently Installed at Western Australian Trotting Association.

A company document titled The Premier (Julius) Automatic Totalisator contains a very low resolution copy of this photo with the following text: FIG4. New "Win and Place" Premier Totalisator installed, 1929, in Perth, West Australia for the West Australian Trotting Association. This machine replaces an earlier "Premier" Installation installed in 1916.

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The photographer's stamp on this photograph reads: ILLUSTRATIONS LIMITED PHOTOGRAPHERS Process Blocks. Designers Etc. (Bungalow Buildings) 870 A Hay Street, Perth. W.A. -- Contemporary Note 2015: Illustrations is the longest running photographic company in Australia, being founded in 1920 and their current address is 291 Fitzgerald Street West Perth.

The first floor level contains the Julius Tote Machine Room. The Place Pool Runner Totals are visible in the first row of counter windows on the facing side of the machine room and the Win Pool Runner Totals are in the second row. There are numbers above the windows in these rows identifying the runner number. These seem to go up to 28. Either side of the Place Pool windows is the word PLACE and on the sides of the Win Pool windows is the word WIN. Between the Place and Win Pool windows are two rows of hooks for hanging sign boards containing horse names and reinsman names. The first row of hooks is labelled HORSE and the second row REINSMAN. On the side of the maintenance access walkway running across the machine room below the two rows of counter windows is written ANY HORSE WIN or PLACE ANY WINDOW and this is repeated five times across the length of the machine room. At the bottom of the central tower are two counter windows. Above these is written GRAND TOTALS and then below this line, above the left window PLACE and above the right window WIN. Above these in the central tower are two dark indicator boards on which display boards can be hung to display the dividends. The left one is headed PLACE and the right WIN. Also on the first floor level on the left and right of the machine room are two indicators with lit up towers associated with them. Both are labelled however I can only make out the word STARTERS on the near one. There are two rows of fourteen windows at the bottom of these indicators which is the maximum field size in the Win and Place pool runner totals display. Presumably these indicators show the runners that are participating in the current race. Above these there is another row of 8 windows in each indicator and above that an ornate roof. Between the top windows and the roof is another word that I cannot read. After 85 years this photo has some silver nitrate blemishing.

The previously mentioned company document titled The Premier (Julius) Automatic Totalisator, written in 1930, also contains the following text near this image of the second Julius Tote at Gloucester Park:

During the 17 years which have elapsed since the first Premier Totalisator was installed, many very notable improvements have been made, and to-day the mechanism is not only very much more simple, reliable and efficient, but it is also considerably lower in price than the earlier machines.

A list of the various racecourses upon which various types of the Premier Totalisator are now installed will be found on Page 22, and from this list it will be seen that ALMOST ALL FULLY MECHANISED TOTALISATORS IN USE THROUGHOUT THE WORLD TO-DAY ARE "PREMIER," AND THAT, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, ALL THE LARGEST EQUIPMENTS ARE OF THIS TYPE AND MAKE.

The "Premier" Totalisator, in the form in which it has been chiefly used, automatically prints tickets required, and in so printing, electrically transmits the record of the sale of each ticket to the central adding mechanism, which totals the whole of the sales so made on each horse at the various selling booths, and records also the grand total of all such sales. It records such totals on large mechanical counters or indicators visible to the public, on small courses these couters are displayed only to some central point on the course, whilst in large installations, such as at Longchamps, Paris, the totals are displayed in as many as four different places, so that investors at various parts of the course may be kept fully informed of the progress of the betting.

Note: although the above document refers to investment totals being on display to the public, Automatic Totalisators Limited invented the worlds first odds computer in 1927 and these were available on Julius Totes after that time. This is mentioned later in the company document being referred to.

The next extract from this company document, which is not contiguous, can be read by clicking on the image above and scrolling down to and selecting the image icon in the Longchamps Paris 1928 -... section with associated text starting Longchamps Racecourse France circa 1929...

I have not reproduced the list on page 22 of this document here, as there are several such lists on this website. To see one of these lists, click on the Go to the index navigation bar option at the bottom of this page, then select the Installations/Testimonials - The Premier Totalisator chapter.

Most Modern Machine in Australia

Following is a couple of extracts from an article in The West Australian newspaper dated Friday 9 January 1914, which relates to the first Julius Tote installed at Gloucester Park:



The W.A. Trotting Association have decided to install on their grounds one of the latest totalisator machines at present in use in New Zealand. At the last New Zealand Cup (trotting) meeting £123,362 was put through the machine in three days...


Some few months ago a machine practically the same as this was installed at Auckland, and from the first race in which it was used it was hailed with delight, by Press and public. In fact, a prominent Sydney sportsman who has only recently returned from one of several trips to New Zealand, said that the new machine had revolutionised wagering in the northern city. He stated that he found the old antipathy to the totalisator almost entirely eliminated, and expressed the opinion that nothing more satisfactory could be desired by anybody.

In addition to the one installed at Auckland, other New Zealand clubs are treating for the purchase of one, while Queensland and Western Australia may shortly have them on a couple of courses. The machine certainly looks to do what is claimed for it, and that being so, we should soon be without the complaint so frequently heard nowadays that the totalisator can not thoroughly satisfy even its own devotees.

Mr. Jas. Brennan, president of. the W.A. Trotting Association, yesterday received a telegram from Auckland stating that during the four days meeting of the Auckland Jockey Club just concluded, the sum of £225,410 passed through the totalisator, the total for one day being £63,780. The machine described above was used at the meeting and, according to Mr. Brennan's telegram, it worked splendidly throughout.

Following is an article from The West Australian newspaper dated Thursday 13 May 1915. It relates to the first Julius Tote that operated at Gloucester Park. Note that Totalling Mechanisms Limited, mentioned in this article was the forerunner to Automatic Totalisators Limited:


Most Modern Machine in Australia

To the West Australian Trotting Association belongs the distinction of installing the first purely mechanical totalisator in Australia. It is the invention of Mr. G. A. Julius, well known in this state, and a son in-law of the late Mr. C. Y. O'Connor, Engineer-in Chief of Western Australia. The machine has been taken over by a company, styled the Totaling Mechanisms Ltd., which has sent its expert to the State to see that the tote is successfully launched upon its work, which will be commenced on the association's ground, East Perth, on Saturday. The machine is generally admitted to be the most ingenious of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, and because of this, and of its absolutely accurate and positive working, has been adopted by the association for the use of its patrons here. It has, of course, been well tried in Australasia, namely, in the Dominion of New Zealand, where it has met with general approbation at all the racing centres in which it has been used. In Auckland, for instance, at the last Christmas race meeting held there, a sum nearly approaching £250,000 passed through one of these totes in the course of four days. This in itself is a sure indication of the popularity of the machine, and of the faith that racegoers have in it.

The first Julius Tote Ticket Issuing Machine An image of a J1 Ticket Issuing Machine

Webmaster's note:

The above image is not part of the newspaper article. I have provided this image here as it is of the J1 Ticket Issuing Machine (TIM) developed for the first Julius Tote for Western Australia. The article refers to this machine in the next paragraph as a special ticket issuer. The TIM is shown with its two hinged covers open. A full sized version of this image can be viewed in the page after the next accessible via the Next page button in the navigation bar at the bottom of this and the next page. It may look ancient but keep in mind that this is most likely the first computer terminal in the world and it is part of an on line real time multi user system. In the predecessor to this system, the first Julius Tote, the selling stations were an integral part of the mainframe system.
There is, however, one improvement which the local machine has upon the Auckland tote, namely, that here the machine is fitted with special ticket issuers. The totalisator on the association's grounds is what is known as a "28 horse six clerk machine." It is capable of selling up to 500 tickets per minute, or at the rate of 80 tickets odd per clerk during the space of 60 seconds. Under the present hand-selling system, the quickest clerk will not sell more then 25 tickets per minute, and given the best possible conditions, six such clerks could not dispose of more than 1500(sic) tickets during the time. Webmaster's note: I think the 1500 in the previous sentence should read 150. If the quickest clerk can produce 25 tickets then 6 such clerks will produce 150.

Further, under the existing arrangements anyone purchasing a ticket on a particular horse must go to that window over which the name of that particular horse appears. With the new tote, however, which will contain six selling windows, the purchaser has only to go to that window which lies nearest to hand, or which is at the moment most easily accessible, and ask for and purchase the ticket required, - the only difference being that instead of, as at present, asking for a ticket on such and such a horse, the purchaser will tell the clerk that he wants a ticket on such and such a number, which corresponds in the race book with the name of the horse he requires to invest upon. This arrangement, under the old system, would naturally lead to some confusion, delay, and often mistakes. Under the new system, however, all such difficulties are overcome with mathematical precision. Every selling clerk is equipped with a machine, from which he may sell tickets on any one of the 28 horses provided for. But every one of the machines works in complete sympathy with the others, and every machine is connected in a similar manner with the number registration board at the top and outside of the building. The mechanism is so adjusted that if all the machines sold in one minute at their maximum quantity, namely, 3,000 tickets not only would the ticket, be passed through to the various purchasers in that time, but throughout the operation the registration board would go on showing the increase in the number of tickets sold on each of the horses, and at the end of the minute the total number of tickets disposed of would be there for the information of the public, who would thus be made aware on the instant of the exact odds at which each horse stood.

There are two features about the new tote which have a special local application. One is that two places, instead of three, as now, will be provided for. On the horse gaining first place the investor will receive a return of 75 per cent. of the net proceeds from the sale of the tickets on all the horses, and those holding tickets on the horse running second will receive 25 per cent. The other feature, and it is one that should particularly appeal to the public, and that is the system of bracketing horses. This may best be explained by the statement of a supposition case. Let it be supposed that one Jones has two horses in a race, named "Bluey" and "Darkie." The public are, of course, in the dark as to which of the two has the most chance of winning, or as to which the owner himself fancies most. In order, therefore, to ensure for the public the best possible run for their money the association have decided that "Bluey" and "Darkie" should be bracketed, which means to say that if "Bluey" were to win the race the tote would pay out not only on "Bluey's" tickets but on those containing the number which stands for "Darkie."

Another point concerning the mechanical tote and the payment on two places only is that the dividends will be considerably greater than they are under the present system, and moreover the bracketing of horses will, in those races in which an owner has a double interest, provide what will amount to a third chance. Owners, too, it is expected, will make much freer use of the new tote than they have done of old, and this will also have an additional elect of increasing the amounts of the dividends that are paid out. The principle feature about the tote itself is its absolute infallibility. It represents the summit of accuracy. It cannot fail in its registration, and numbering and punching of every ticket sold through it. It cannot fail in its addition of the number of tickets sold. It cannot be a party to anything that is not strictly fair and above board. It accelerates the speed at which tickets have hitherto been sold by nearly four hundred per cent, and will enable the dividends to be declared in a fraction of the time at which even now they are made known. The whole of the mechanism is so arranged that immediately the advertised time of starting a race is reached the machine can be locked from the stewards' box or other convenient centre, so that it becomes impossible for any ticket-issuing clerk to issue another ticket, whilst at the same time all previously issued tickets have been accurately recorded on the counters and totalled up. In fine, the machine may safely be said to be the last word in totalisators. It comes to Western Australia from New Zealand with a remarkable record of successes, and should be found to give every satisfaction in this State, not only to owners but to patrons of the sport generally. In any event, the operations of the new tote will be watched with interest. The machine will be in operation for the first time on Saturday evening.

Following is another article from The West Australian newspaper dated Saturday 22 May 1915:

The new totalisator which was used for the first time last Saturday night worked well as regards the mechanism of the machine and no fault could be found with it. On the other hand, however, some of the operators did not appear to be proficient, and there were many persons who had to go without tickets. The operators, however, should become expert in a little while.

With regard to paying first and second horses only, the public do not appear to like it. For about 30 years in this State the people have been used to the one-two-three system, and it certainly looks as if they will require a lot of breaking in. It seems to me that with the system inaugurated last Saturday the bookmakers would benefit. With no pencillers present, no doubt everything would go on smoothly, but a man would sooner go to a bookmaker and back his fancy straight-out and know what he was getting than bet on the totalisator under the present system. It is, I understand, the owners of the machine, and not the W.A. Trotting Association, who insist on paying first and second horses. The sooner this is got rid of the better, for it will be found that instead of catering for the public on the machine they will be driven away. The system might be all very well in New Zealand where bookmakers are not allowed to bet, but in this State it will not work so well and the sooner the one-two-three machine is installed, the better.


Fancy Line

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The next page, accessed via the Next page button below, looks at the J1 TIM (Ticket issuing Machine) shown in the image above. Several J1s, which were purely mechanical terminals built for the first Julius tote at Gloucester Park, were attached to a central processing system. The world's first computer terminal! This Julius tote system which commenced operation in 1916 was termed The most modern machine in Australia in The West Australian newspaper 13th May 1915.

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