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, the company founded to develop, manufacture and export these systems.

Early Adder Manufacturing Section

It is thought that this image is inside the factory at Alice Street Newtown in Sydney. It is quite clear that the items being assembled here are large adders. It does not appear to be a production line as each of the adders being assembled seems to be in a similar early state of assembly. Nine overhanging assemblies that look like two fingers protruding, on the left hand top support bars of the nearest adders in the image, look like the fulcrums for the storage screw locking levers. These are at the front of the adders and on the right of the nearest adders you can see the rear end support pillars standing to support the nine storage screws yet to be installed. These finger like assemblies make them look very much like the adders that were installed at Longchamps in France in 1928. If they are adders for Longchamps, this photo must have been taken when the factory was getting close to being moved to Chalmers Street in the Sydney CBD which was in 1930. On the nearest two adders in the image, below the finger like assemblies to the left of the supporting bar, you can see some of the the storage screw drive pulleys already in place. More after the image...
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The photographers stamp on the photograph reads HALL & CO., Commercial Photographers, 20 HUNTER STREET, SYDNEY.


As with other images of these early factories, it reveals how primitive working conditions were in those days. It is a long time to come before people start to think about posture. There are many heads craned downwards, it gives me a headache looking at them! I do not think that any of the workers in this photograph, or any other workers of the time or their management would have considered the limited body positions that a worker can assume while standing without causing health problems or the considerable muscular effort keeping the body upright reducing blood supply in loaded muscles. Something in the order of half a century had to elapse before industry started to take these concerns seriously, driven by the cost of non compliance and even then there was significant resistance to them in the culture of organisations. The floor in the bottom left of the image looks as though it has a foundation of bricks overlaid with something like bitumen. The floor looks very old and as if it has had significant wear as the bitumen like surface has a singnificant area where it has peeled off leaving the bricks exposed. Perhaps it used to be a road! The larger benches on the left are of a solid purpose built construction and look like they have had a considerable working life. The benches the adders are on seem to be a quick construction made out of boxwood. The long exposure time of these old photos is evident as a couple of the people in this image have moved during the exposure time causing them to appear blurred. There is silver nitrate blemishing visible mainly in the bottom right of the photograph.