This technology 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.

A historic 3 shaft adder used in Julius Totes

This is a three shaft adder with a capacity to support up to 240 ticket issuing machines. There are many such adders that go to make up a totalisator system. It totals the investment on one runner in a race. The three adding shafts are clearly visible across the top of the horizontal segments, each consisting of escapement wheels and epicyclic gears. The solenoids below the escapement wheels activate the escapements when they receive a pulse from a ticket issuing machine. Bets are recorded as angular displacement of the adding shafts and the total investment is recorded on the counter. The distance between the teeth of each escapement wheel determines the value of the bet. Note the mercury switch with part of its curved glass tube poking out at the bottom right of the adder and showing two electrical connections. This was a security device that ensured the adder would stop accepting bets if any of the adding shafts lost drive power. This adder represents mechanical computing on an industrial scale as these systems were mass produced before the advent of digital computers that replaced them. These adders are an essential component of these early on-line real-time multi-user totalizator systems.

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