This history 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 Australian company founded in 1917 to develop, manufacture and export these systems.

The Old Main Tote House Doomben Julius Tote In Operation

As I have mentioned the Doomben old Main Tote House in the previous image I have provided an image of it here. The year 1960 is written on the back of the photograph. Earlwood is also written on the back of the photograph. I presume this refers to the horse who at the time was the only horse to win back to back Doomben Cups and the year this photo was taken is the second of them. I worked in this building for several years post 1978 when the computer totes were in operation. This building stood on the Eastern side of the Public stand, which was a four story building including the private boxes at the top, which was built during my time at this track. The right hand extremity of the Main Tote House in this image stood near the current main entrance to the members car park. The left hand side of this building extends to near the track barrier. More after the photograph.

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The photographers stamp on this photograph reads: CAMERA CRAFT PTY. LTD.20 Ivory Street Valley, Brisbane. When Reordering Please Quote 10937.E.
Thanks to Neil Wakeford, ex Branch Manager of these systems in Brisbane, for providing the print of this photograph.

I saw this building demolished along with the Julius Tote which was still standing derelict on the first floor. It was events like this that led me to the realisation that this history could be lost forever. After this building was demolished, what used to be the Sub House became the Main Tote House. At the top left corner of the photograph is Brisbane Airport on the distant side of the parked cars on the racetrack grounds. What looks like a DC4 can be seen in the foreground, facing the camera and what looks like the side view of a DC3 behind it.

On the top story of this building is the Julius Tote Machine Room with its central tote processing system. On the side of the building facing the camera, is the Julius Tote Odds Indicator. There is someone seated inside the door on the left hand side of the machine room below the clock, possibly one of the Chief Engineers looking after the system. There is writing on the floor level of the maintenance walkway for the indicator. The left hand sentence reads WIN ODDS ON TOP OF WHITE COLUMN and the right hand sentence reads PLACE ODDS ON TOP OF YELLOW COLUMN. At ground level of this building are the selling windows where the J8 TIM terminals are in operation. The indicator and selling windows are replicated on the opposite side of the building. The crowd in this image once again indicates the bet traffic that the Julius Totes catered for. The queues extend from the selling windows in this building to the vicinity of the first row of Bookmakers under their umbrellas. The Bookmakers look like they are also doing well.

Chris Robertson's Doomben Ticket
Example of ATL Doomben Julius Tote ticket

Chris Robertson purchased this ticket in April 1977. I joined Automatic Totalisators Limited in Sydney in December that same year. In 1979 I moved to Brisbane with the new on course computer based totalisator systems which commenced operation that year. So the Julius Tote that created Chris' ticket had almost 2 years of operation left prior to it being superseded. Additionally, when Chris Purchased this ticket, the system in the image at the top of the page was seventeen years older. The Julius tote at Doomben would have been in operation some time before the above photo was taken in 1960, probably starting in the late 1940s. If this was a computer system it would have been regarded as ancient, however these electromechanical systems operated for much longer than most computer systems. The Longchamps Julius Tote operated for 45 years and the Caracas Julius Tote was still in operation after 48 years.

Chris wrote the following about a group of tickets of which this is one: ATL ticket selling operations were largely similar between states in the mid 1970's, with Melbourne being somewhat more advanced having computerised trifecta/trio J18 ticket issuing machines. For that reason I have saved only one machine issued ticket from each racecourse I visited in South Australia and Queensland. The tickets are all J8, with the exception of the Albion Park ticket which is from an earlier machine.

This building saw the advent of the computer totes. The first computer tote for Doomben started operations here in 1979 replacing the electromechanical Julius tote shown in operation in this photograph. This new computer tote system consisted of two mobile PDP11 minicomputer based totalisator systems, contained in semi trailers which serviced five race clubs. I worked on their development in Sydney and then moved to Queensland with them. A cement slab with a large roof on top was constructed as a carport for the semi-trailer. This was at the right hand end of this building around the back. The data, television, internal telephone and power lines connected the track to the systems in the the semi via a large connector panel in this building.