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.

An old Automatic Totalisators Machine Shop

I have placed this image next to its predecessor in the Photo Gallery as the archways and other aspects of the images make them appear to be the same building. It is not clear whether this is the Alice Street Newtown or the Chalmers Street CBD factories. Although the label attaced to the predecessor photograph implies that it is Alice Street, the flat roof and good condition of the floor suggest that it might be Chalmers Street. I am not familiar with these old machines however I think they are mainly mills and lathes. More after the image...
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The photographers stamp on the photograph reads HALL & CO., Commercial Photographers, 20 HUNTER STREET, SYDNEY.


In the machine rooms of my time each machine had its own electric motor. These old machine rooms had ceiling mounted drive shafts with pulleys and belts connecting to each individual machine. Although at the time of this photograph the drive shafts were probably driven by electric motors, I think this concept stems from a time when the main drive shafts in factories were driven by steam engines. I do not mean to suggest that this post dates the steam era as steam technology was still very much alive and well at this time, particularly on the railways and no doubt still powering many factories. I suppose it is not beyond the realms of possibility that this factory was still powered by steam. I think that had this drive method endured to the modern day the OH&S staff would have done a lot to ensure no one could accidentally get any body parts jammed between any belt and pulley. Something that appears prevalent in these sorts of photographs is the need for a ladder. One can be seen in the centre of the upper half of this image, leaning against the wall, to the right of the clock and pillar. I suspect that this is to rearrange the belts on the drive pulleys or to replace a belt that has separated from the pulley or perform maintenance work on this ceiling equipment.