Automatic Totalisators Limited Archive
Company records of the Automatic Totalisators Limited Company, established in 1917 by George Julius to manufacture, install and operate totalisator systems throughout the world. The archive contains records and photographs dating from between 1919 and 1974. The Museum also holds a model of the totalisator designed by Sir George Julius and some parts and other equpment manufactured by Automatic Totalisators Limited.
Sir George Julius (born 1873) was a university trained engineer working in Western Australia who devised a machine which automated the counting of tickets and calculation of odds and dividends in betting at the racecourse. In the 1890s, while working for the Western Australian Railways, he designed a 'cheat proof' mechanical vote-counting machine, which was sold to the State of New York, USA, in 1892. No buyers were found in Australia so Julius searched for new applications for his calculator. He decided that his invention would make a perfect automatic totalisator, a machine to record bets and calculate the changing odds and dividends at the racecourse. In 1907 he set up his own engineering consultancy and built a scale model of an automatic, electro-mechanical totalisator in Sydney. The first automatic totalisator was installed at Ellerslie racecourse in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1913. Julius incorporated his company, Automatic Totalisators Limited (ATL), as a limited company on 21 April 1917 to manufacture, install and operate totalisator systems. For years the company dominated the design and supply of racecourse betting equipment throughout the world. By 1974 ATL had installed 50 computer tote systems around the world and served metropolitan racetracks with the Mobile Computer Tote, a totalisator operated from a large trailer and transported by truck to different locations. In 1980 ATL's operations were acquired by the Smorgan group of companies and later in the 1980s AWA, which had previously taken over Universal Totalisators Australia, purchased the operations of ATL from Smorgans. This archive was a gift from AWA (Australia) Ltd and includes company records and correspondence, promotional material, newspaper clippings, tote tickets, and photographs of installations, staff and premises.
Some items in this collection may be subject to copyright
A selection of material is available on the Powerhouse Website. It has not been fully digitised and records contain varying levels of information. Further material is held at the museum. A printed guide to the full archive is available at the Museum. (94/222/23)
Archives; Pamphlets; Photographs; Tickets; Totalisator equipment
Automatic Totalisators Limited; Sir George Julius
Gambling; Horse racing; Totalisators