This history page contains a photograph which is one of several belonging to the photo gallery pages, which are part of several technology history 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.

A Premier TIM as used at Randwick Racecourse

In a commendation for the 1917 Julius tote presented below, C.W.Cropper the secretary of the Australian Jockey Club, refers to the model of TIM (Ticket Issuing Machine) shown below, as the "Premier" Automatic Totalisator Machine. Although this term could be used to describe the whole of the 1917 Julius tote he concentrates on the Terminal or TIM end of the system, the subject of this page. A video clip in the British Pathé website shows this "Premier" TIM as being in use at a Sydney racetrack in 1927. This British Pathé video clip also shows an adder in operation in the machine room of this Sydney racetrack totalisator. This adder is of the same type as the image of an adder shown in the second image before this one in the Photo Gallery of this website. George Julius himself describes this adder in his paper titled Mechanical Aids To Calculation and identifies it as belonging to the 1917 Randwick Julius Totalisator. In conclusion, this TIM is of the type used in the 1917 Randwick Julius Totalisator however it is not one of the 150 TIMs that were installed there as this TIM only supports a field size of 24 and the 1917 Randwick system supported a field size of 42.

This "Premier" TIM looks similar to the J5 TIM, but has a mechanical drive as is evident by the drive pulley at the right rear, indicating it is a predecessor. The British Pathé website video clip clearly shows this pulley being driven from a drive belt which is being driven from above. It is interesting to note that the scratchings are implemented on the machine. The British Pathé website video clip has a caption Human error is eliminated - error is impossible. It is impossible to back a non runner. This is achieved by the operator entering the scratchings on the machine prior to operating. Read on after the image to see how this was achieved and more...



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There are no photographer's markings on this print


The TIM has an arc with holes on the top, graduated with runner numbers. To select a runner number the handle is moved to the desired number and the handle is depressed sending a locator into the associated hole in the arc and initiating a transaction cycle. Prior to operation, the operator makes sure the radial lockout buttons at the outside perimeter of the arc are pressed in for every runner that is a scratching or a runner number corresponding to a horse number in excess of the highest runner in the race. Every valid runner number should have its corresponding radial lockout button pulled out with every other lockout button pressed in. This will allow every valid runner to be selected and every invalid runner number will not allow the sell button on the handle to be depressed because of the corresponding pushed in lockout button. As can be seen from the image, runners 10 through 24 have been locked out suggesting that the highest numbered runner in the race is 9. Number one is also locked out indicating it is a scratching. T which is also enabled allows a Test Ticket to be printed if selected.

In the AJC (Australian Jockey Club) document below titled Totalisator Notice - Instructions for ticket issuer operators, the first item includes instructions on how to set these runner number radial lockout buttons. It refers to closing and opening up horse numbers, which refers to pushing in and pulling out these radial lockout buttons.

This must have been the first method of implementing scratchings. Later this was controlled in the machine room where every adder associated with a non runner would be disabled prohibiting a transaction cycle to be initiated from any TIM, on the adder associated with the non runner. In the end the scratchings were input into the system via a remote Raceday Control Console which disabled the selected adders at one centralised location rather than every operator entering the scratchings on their machine further minimising the possibility of error. There is an image of a Raceday Control Console later in the photo gallery in the Harold Park section.

I have presented the following commendation from the Secretary of the AJC as it refers to the TIMs and the selling staff operating them. The Secretary refers to these TIMs as Automatic Totalisator Machines, which are of the type shown in the image above.

C.W.Cropper Secretary Australian Jockey Club wrote on 22 July 1922 "I have pleasure in stating that the "Premier" Automatic Totalisator Machines, which were installed at Randwick Racecourse and are operated by your Company on contract under the supervision of the Club, and which were first used at the Club's Spring Meeting, 1917, have, since their installation, given complete satisfaction. Their accuracy is unquestionable and the rapidity with which tickets are issued by the experienced operators leaves nothing to be desired."

C.W.Cropper mentions the experienced operators. During my time in the totalisator industry which began in 1977 there was always competition amongst some of the operators to be regarded as the fastest and most accurate.

The Old Main Tote at Randwick 1917 Image of the old main tote at Randwick

The above image shows the old Main Tote House at Randwick which was custom built to house part of the 1917 Julius Tote. At the ground level are tote windows. The narrow windows in the octagonal left and right wings of this building, house the selling windows, each of which has one of the TIMs shown at the top of this page in it. There are nine such windows visible in each octagonal section, however these windows continue around these wings of the building. The paying out of dividends in the early to mid 20th century was done manually. Some of the windows in this Main Tote House will have been dedicated to payout. Some of the windows in this central section have the word Change on them. The selling windows have the bet value for the window on them. Usually the best operators are assigned to the highest value windows.

The following AJC notices would have been hanging in the tote house in the image above and the first notice titled INSTRUCTIONS FOR TICKET ISSUER OPERATORS, relate to the TIM shown at the top of this page:

Notes on the following 1917 notices:

  1. The underlined texts in the following paragraphs are not hypertext links they are replications of the original document.
  2. The Julius totes had manual payout requiring Payout Clerks.
  3. It is evident that these 1917 TIMs, were provided with two staff each to operate them, a Seller and an Issuer Operator. I do not think this was a requirement of the system to have two operators, but a legacy operational requirement. It is interesting that the Issuer Operator is instructed not to listen to the customer in this two person operation. I have read that when the Julius Tote at Longchamps started operations in 1928, the French race-club continued a two man operation, despite being advised that a single operator is all that is required. The two operator per selling window policy was continued to keep the customers happy.
  4. The manual effort required to achieve certainty in payment is interesting with the dividends being calculated up to ten times by each Paying Clerk then cross checked.
  5. It is also interesting to note that the technical staff maintaining these systems were called Mechanics. In the late 1970s, after implementing the first on course computer based totalisator systems in Brisbane, which superseded Julius totes, the technicians and engineers working on the computer systems were also called Mechanics by the operators. This continued for decades and still in 2008 you would still have the odd call now and again for a Mechanic!


Australian Jockey Club

TOTALISATOR NOTICE
INSTRUCTIONS FOR TICKET ISSUER OPERATORS

First see that ticket paper is correctly placed in the machine. Try one or more test tickets, noting that race number is correct and that sufficient ink is on machine (reserve all test tickets for manager). Close up all horse numbers on machine when window is closed. Await the hoisting of board showing final scratchings, then open up horse numbers shown. Be ready to issue tickets immediately window is opened.

Do not issue any tickets until instructed to do so by the ticket seller. Pay no attention to numbers called for by investors, the ticket seller will ask you for tickets required.

Should a ticket be issued through any cause and not sold, it must be handed to the Telephone Operator immediately the window is closed, with an explanation showing why it was issued, or otherwise the Ticket Issuer Operator will be held responsible.

Immediately the window is closed, remove paper from issuer, leaving two partly printed tickets on roll, and put on new paper for next race. Change race number and proceed as before.

Should issuer get out of order from any cause, turn switch off at once; the window should be closed immediately and signal given for Mechanic. On no account try to rectify same yourself; do not try to issue any more tickets until Mechanic has left cubicle.


BY ORDER OF THE COMMITTEE
DECEMBER, 1917.


Australian Jockey Club

TOTALISATOR NOTICE
INSTRUCTIONS FOR PAYING CLERKS

Get cash from bank before first race. Get cash afterwards from banker or selling clerk as directed, giving I.O.U. for same.

When dividend is posted, work out dividends up to ten times and check same with next paying clerk, getting him to initial sheet, you initialling his.

Open up window when signal to pay is given, and keep it open until it is clear; on no account close the window too soon. Fill in list of tickets paid, and return all notes (retaining silver), tickets paid and list to banker, who will give receipt for same. Each ticket must be cancelled as it is paid. Carefully scrutinise ticket and check same with sample ticket given you before paying same, so as to avoid paying out on wrong tickets; as paying clerks will be held responsible for any mistakes made.

Should a legitimate doubt exist about tickets, ask the person tendering same to go to commission room or manager's room.

Should any ticket be presented which appears to be forgery or has been altered (use great discretion in doing this), obtain posession of same and ring the bell under counter, which will immediately bring a detective; then hand ticket to the detective, pointing out person who tendered same.

Should paying clerks be running short of change, pull out the sign for runner. Do not wait until change is exhausted; signal in time to prevent any stoppage in paying out.


BY ORDER OF THE COMMITTEE
DECEMBER, 1917.


A company document titled The Premier (Julius) Automatic Totalisator, written in 1930, contains a low resolution picture showing a man operating a Ticket Issuing Machine (TIM) with the following text beneath it: FIG 12. Interior of ticket selling cubicle on the Randwick, N.S.W., Racecourse, showing "one-man" operation. The ticket issuing machine this man is operating, is identical to the one in the image above. As the successor Julius Tote to the 1918 Randwick Julius Tote was installed in 1935, it can be concluded that the TIM in the image above is of the type in use with the 1917 Julius Tote at Randwick! The "one-man" operation is normal for the Julius tote and it is mentioned only to contrast with Longchamps Racecourse in France where a two man operation unnecessarily continued to be utilised with the Julius Tote, as the customers were used to this from previous tote operations.

This company document has the following text starting above the associated image and ending below. It describes Julius Tote TIMs, or by its product name Premier TIMs:

Ticket Issuers

The Premier Ticket Issuer is a machine that has been perfected as a result of many years' experience, and, in its present form, is now in use on Racecourses in many different parts of the world. The fundamental consideration in the design of such a machine to be suitable for Racecourse betting is that each such machine should be capable of printing and issuing tickets on any horse in the race, and where two totalisators are installed, one for "win" and the second for "place" betting, the same issuing machine must also be capable of issuing tickets on either of these two machines. This is essential because many bettors not only require to invest on more than one horse in a race, but also frequently wish to invest some of their money on the "win" machine and the balance on some other horse on the "place" machine. If it were necessary to go to different windows, either to get tickets on one or other of the two machines, or to record bets on different horses, great congestion and inconvenience to the betting public would result.

The speed of the betting--that is to say, the speed at which the betting crowd can be handled--depends very largely upon the time required to take and count the money paid by the bettor, and as in most Racecourses the room available for the installation of selling booths is very limited, it is essential that the business should be handled adequately and comfortably by a minimum number of such booths, apart altogether form the increased first cost and the cost of operation of the selling machine with which each additional booth has to be equipped. It is most important, therefore, in view of these considerations, that the machine that is to print and issue the tickets should be capable of doing so at a high rate of speed, and in this connection the Premier Issuer is as fast as any ticket issuer at present available for the work, and very much faster than the majority of such machines.

Another very great advantage of the Premier machine is that it requires one hand only for its operation, to issue a ticket on any horse, and on either the "place" or the "win" machine. This leaves the operator's other hand free to take and count the money paid in by investors. In this way, tickets have in practice frequently been printed and issued at rates up to and sometimes even exceeding 40 per minute, the machine itself being capable of printing the tickets at a speed of over 100 per minute.

In the Pari Mutuel system of betting, and also in many forms of totalisator, pre-printed tickets are used, necessitating the preparation of an enormous number of tickets, consecutively numbered, and placed in suitable receptacles, in each selling booth. 80 per cent. of such tickets, on the average, remained unsold at the end of the betting on any race, this being due to the impossibility of making any accurate determination beforehand of the number of tickets that are likely to be required on any particular horse. The availability of these unsold tickets also introduces a serious risk of fraud, as such tickets could be presented for payment at a dividend paying window after the race, should such unsold tickets pass into the hands of an unscrupulous person.

In the Premier machine the paper used for the tickets, whilst of a special type to make imitation difficult, is absolutely blank, so far as any printing is concerned, until it passes through the issuing machine and the printing of each ticket is not done until the operator in charge of the machine has received the money representing the purchase of that ticket; and at the same time, also the registration of the sale of the particular ticket has been passed on to the adding machine and duly recorded on the Indicators. This arrangement not only eliminates the great loss involved in the printing of enormous numbers of surplus tickets, but also reduces the chance of the fraudulent presentation of unsold tickets.

A typical installation of Premier issuing machines in a small Racecourse equipment is shown in Fig. 9, and in Fig. 10 an outside view of the issuer with its operating handle, its paper feed, and its "number" dial is shown.

Figure 9 in this document is titled Interior of Totalisator Building, showing "Premier" Ticket Issuing Machines installed in 1929 for the Galle Gymkhana Club. Ceylon. The image in this document is so low resolution that it is not worth reproducing here. There is an image in the photo album of this website that is similar however. To view this click on the image above and scroll down to the image thumbnail with associated text The Julius Tote J5 Ticket Issuing Machines in Singapore. I have included a reduced copy of this image next.

Singapore Turf Club J5 Ticket Issuing MachinesAn image of the TIMs in a Singapore tote house

Figure 10 shows a J5 Ticket Issuing Machine (TIM). This is the same as the machine in the Singapore system above although in this tote house image it is not possible to discern any details of the TIMs. The J5 is similar to the image at the top of this page only this machine seems to be older than the J5; with a major difference being that the selector knob on the J5 swinging arm, can be moved longitudinally to either a forward or backward position, which selects the Win Pool or the Place Pool respectively. Another difference, obvious from, these images, is that the J5 has the paper roll mounted separate to the machine and in the case of the Singapore Turf Club system, you can see the paper rolls hanging on the partition between each selling window rather than mounted on top of the machine. Finally, another paragraph from the company document:
Each issuer is mounted in such a way as to make it accessible for ready inspection and each is driven by means of an independent electric motor, so that no shafting or belting of any kind is required, and an inside view of a Premier Issuer, raised for inspection, is shown in Fig 11.
The above paragraph refers to an independent electric motor. The image below of a J6 workings which is similar to the J5 being described shows the electric motor in the bottom left hand corner. This highlights another difference to the machine shown at the top of this page, which has an external drive via a belt, which is not shown in the image, but would drive the pulley visible at the top right of the machine below the paper roll, if the machine was installed somewhere. This further confirms that the J5 is a more modern TIM than the one shown at the top of this page.

Figure 11 shows what is probably a J5 Ticket Issuing Machine in its raised position which is its maintenance position for access to its workings. There is an image in the second page of the photo album of this website that is similar however, it is of a J6 rather than a J5. To view this click on the image above and scroll down to the bottom of the page and select the Next page option in the navigation bar. Next, scroll down in the image thumbnail directory to the Ticket Issuing Machines heading and select the image thumbnail with associated text starting "The inside of a J6 Ticket Issuing Machine 1935..." I have included a reduced copy of this image next.

The inside of a J6 Ticket Issuing MachineAn image of the inside of a J6

The next extract from this company document, which immediately follows this extract, can be read by clicking on the image above and scrolling down to and selecting the image thumbnail in the "Longchamps Paris 1928 - ..." section, with associated text starting An image of one of the 273 J5 Ticket Issuing Machines at Longchamps...