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 company founded to develop, manufacture and export these systems.

The Starting Post at Hialeah Racecourse

This image shows the start of a race at what I think is Hialeah in Miami. There is no writing on the photo to indicate where it was taken, however there are multiple reasons to think it is Hialeah. Firstly, the photograph exists in a collection of photographs that only has one location with similar photos and that is Hialeah. Secondly the pools supported by the system in the photograph are Straight Place and Show as determined from the pool names on the right hand indicator and that matches Hialeah. Thirdly, the maximum field size of the system operating at this track is 15 as determined from the odds indicator on the left in the image, also matching Hialeah. Fourthly, the dress of the people is similar to that of the people in the other Hialeah photos in the collection. Finally, the palm trees look like they belong in Miami.

More below the image ...

Click here to go Back
Click on the image to go back to the Photo Gallery

There is no photographers stamp on the photograph

The writing on the photograph reads Start of the 1 1/8 mile now from opposite grandstand. Starting wires and boxes are removed after start. I have included this image as it shows two Julius Tote indicator boards the left one a Straight Pool Barometer Indicator and the right a Lamp Box Results and Dividends indicator. Additionally I find the wire starting system shown in the photograph rather interesting.

The barometer indicator on the left is a public display remote output device for the electromechanical mainframe of the Julius Tote. It is continually updated by the mainframe in the machine room. This display would have been driven by the Straight Pool Mainframe. The Show Pool Mainframe is shown in the first of the images in the Hialeah section of the Photo Gallery and the Straight Pool Mainframe looks the same. To view the image of the Show Pool Mainframe, click on the image then scroll up and select the first image thumbnail. In the high resolution copy of this image it is possible to see the sunlight reflecting off the bulbs in the lamp panels of the right hand indicator when zoomed in on it. The information displayed on this indicator was probably manually entered via some form of control console.

This cable start system looks quite complicated, with the pole on the near side of the runners and its guy wires and suspended cables running across the runners. Judging by the horses not being lined up and there being several hoofs off the ground, the photo was taken an instant after the race started. I have seen photos of this starting system before, showing the result of what happens when things go wrong, where some horses had fallen to the ground and ended up in a tangled mess. I have another close up photograph of the Results Board on the right. From this other photograph it is clear that this is a lamp box indicator and shows the placings 1 to 4, the Straight, Place and Show dividends and the race time in minutes, seconds and fifths of a second. The indicator accommodates a dead heat for the Straight Pool as there are two rows of lamp panels underneath the word Straight on the indicator, to display the two dividends for the runners in the dead heat. Underneath the second dividend lamp panels is the word DEAD_HEAT, which presumably lights up when there is a dead heat.