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.


The Ceylon Turf Club Grandstand

Electro Mechanical Computing on an Industrial Scale

This image shows the Julius Tote Runner and Pool Totals Indicator for the Win and Place pools in the side of the grandstand at the Ceylon Turf Club. Ceylon is now known as Sri Lanka. The Julius totes were electro mechanical large-scale on-line real-time multi-user processing systems, which were utilised globally and existed long before the invention of digital computers which superseded them. This is another example of the diverse regions of the planet that these systems were installed. The first Julius Totalisator installation in Ceylon was performed here in 1922 with 12 terminals. A second installation was performed in 1926 with 49 terminals. This photograph has writing on the back identifying the date as 20 June 1930. Another Julius Tote was installed in Ceylon at the Galle Gymkhana Club, Galle in 1929 with 30 terminals. I suspect it was this installation that prompted this photograph to be taken as it was not far away.

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There is no photographer's stamp on this print.

A company document titled The Premier (Julius) Automatic Totalisator, written in 1930, contains a low resolution version of this image with the following text beneath it: FIG 7. "Win and Place" Premier Totalisator Indicators installed on the end of the Grandstand on the Ceylon Turf Club's Course, Colombo, in 1926.

This company document has the following text starting above the image and ending below. It describes the odds displays that became available with Julius totes after 1927 when Automatic Totalisators Limited invented the world's first odds computer.

The Premier Totalisator, therefore, in its latest form, can give to the public, at any instant, practically the same information as the investor has been in the habit of obtaining from the bookmaker, except that the "odds" that the machine shows at any instant are the "odds" on each particular horse at that instant in the betting. They do not necessarily show the odds that a successful investor would receive at the end of the betting, for such odds can only be calculated when the betting has finished. This of course, is a feature inseparable from the Pari Mutuel or totalisator system, but in practice, it does not constitute any very real disability, because long years of experience have shown that after betting has settled down, i.e., after the first few minutes, the "odds" on each horse change very little during the progress of the betting, and the final order of popularity becomes fairly obvious very early in the betting period. Webmaster's note: How things have changed!

IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE PREMIER TOTALISATOR, NO EFFORTS HAVE BEEN SPARED TO PRODUCE A MACHINE THAT IS ACCURATE, FOOLPROOF, AND FRAUDPROOF AND ALSO ONE THAT CAN RECORD THE PROGRESS OF THE BETTING EITHER IN NUMBERS OF TICKETS SOLD OR IN TERMS OF THE DIVIDEND A BETTOR MAY EXPECT TO RECEIVE IF HIS BET IS SUCCESSFUL. Automatic Totalisators Limited are the holders of the patents for the "Premier" or "Julius" Totalisator, and these patents fully cover the foregoing features.

The next extract from this company document, which is not contiguous, can be read by clicking on the image above and scrolling up to and selecting the image thumbnail with associated text starting A close up view of the Longchamps pavilion.