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Working section of an electro-mechanical tote

Made in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1948.

The first successful automatic totalisator was an Australian innovation invented by engineer George Julius. With the sale of the first Tote to the Auckland Jockey Club, Julius establish Automatic Totalisator Ltd (ATL) in 1917 the most successful Totalisator company in what became a thriving international industry. ATL was the leader in the field for 65 years producing mechanical, electromechanical, then computer based tote systems for race tracks around the world. The tote machine itself is a co...


Totalisator, reconstructed working fragment and other parts, electromechanical, steel / wood / Bakelite / electrical components, made by Automatic Totalisators Limited (ATL), Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1948, reconstructed by Bob Moran, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2004

Main unit consists of a metal angle iron frame which supports banks of 5 adding units on each side of the frame. Each side has four units (one for each horse) and a grand total unit. The adding unit is connected to a drive shaft driven by a DC motor also mounted on the frame. Between each side (bank of adding units) there are a series of criss-cross metal strip which are what is most conspicuous part of the odds calculating mechanism. The strips are connected through strings to a transfer box (servo motor) which delivers the odds to the larger scale, mounted on top of the frame in the working demonstration, but which went to the barometer indicator, part of the original tote house.

Ticket machine - is an ATL J8 ticket machine wooden box with a hinged stainless steel top, a slot to ticket appear from, a Bakelite arm which can be moved through an arc by the operator to select one of 24 horses. There is a button on the arm to select win or place. The ticket machine has a hole underneath to feed the paper for the ticket into the printing mechanism

Trolley for ticket machine aqua painted metal trolly table with a shelf and a hole cut in the top and strips of aluminium used to clamp down the ticket machine. This is not part of the original machine but should be retained because it can be used to mount a ticket machine when preparing it for operation. and with the paper tape hole and retaining strips is too useful to be disposed of. Xobject?

6 spare ticket machines - these should be retained as spare parts.

3 boxes of spare parts including electrical components


2200 mm
1900 mm


The ATL Totalisator was originally invented in 1912 by George Julius who founded ATL to produce and market totes world wide. ATL engineers including George Julius and his son Audrey continued to improve various aspects of the Tote's design, notably introducing electricity in 1917, continually improving ticket machines, introducing automatic odds indicators, devising totes of various sizes to suit different tracks. The Tote from which the working model is reconstructed was the last of the electromechanical totes produced by ATL ( and according to some of the retired engineers this meant that it was perfect) . These models were last produced from the late 1940s to the early 1960s when they were superseded by computer based totes

All ATL totes after 1945 were manufactured at the ATL plant at Meadowbank in Sydney.


Purchased 2006
9 July, 2006

Cite this Object

Working section of an electro-mechanical tote 2017, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 17 October 2017, <>
{{cite web |url= |title=Working section of an electro-mechanical tote |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=17 October 2017 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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