Tote Machine Section

Accurate rapid calculation is important to those placing and collecting bets in horse racing. From the 1930s through at least the 1960s, American race tracks rented room-sized totalisators, or tote machines, to calculate the amount bet on various horses, the odds of winning and placing, and payoffs.
This section (an intermediate distribution frame) of an American Totalisator C-7 Counter Tote has a light green metal and wooden cabinet with two glass doors in front and a black plastic and cloth cover. Outside the cabinet, at the top of the front, is a row of switches on a black rectangular board. Nine sections of circuitry are within the cabinet, each with its own glass cover in a metal frame. The upper section second from the right was removed for exhibition. Metal holders for the relays are marked individually. Viewed form the back, the cabinet has a large panel, an ammeter and thermometer, and several cylinders on top suited for cable connections. The cover shields the top and about half the sides of the machine.
The machine is marked on a paper tag with a portion removed for exhibit: RELAYS (/) 7307 ADJUSTED (/) BY R. DONELSON (/) DATE 7/17/64.
Accession File.
Object Name
adding machine
date made
American Totalisator
Physical Description
glass (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
metal (overall material)
wood (overall material)
overall: 190 cm x 117 cm x 55 cm; 74 13/16 in x 46 1/16 in x 21 21/32 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Science & Mathematics
Adding Machines
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Adding Machines
Information Age
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of General Instrument Corporation
Additional Media

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