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processing systems, which were utilised globally and existed long before the invention of digital computers which superseded them.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 at the Galle Gymkhana Club that prompted this photograph to be taken at the Ceylon Turf Club as the two clubs were not far from each other.

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There is no photographer's stamp on this print.

A company document titled The Premier (Julius) Automatic Totalisator contains a low resolution version of an image similar to this one 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. The image in the company document is a slightly more distant view than this one and has a group of people in it.

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. This extract is the fourth in a sequence of extracts from the company document contained in multiple Photo Gallery pages of this website and immediately follows the previous extract. The previous extract can be read in the Photo Gallery page accessible by clicking on the image at the top of this page and scrolling up in the index table to and selecting the image thumbnail which has associated text starting with the words Longchamps Racecourse France circa 1929... :

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 betting trends have changed with high value punters!

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.

It is interesting to note that the Win and Place displays in the side of the grandstand above are not the new odds displays but the old runner grand totals and pool grand total displays.

The following extract from this company document can be read by clicking on the image above and scrolling up in the index table to and selecting the image thumbnail with associated text starting A close up view of the Longchamps pavilion.