We've all played with one, but do you know its history?

The Magic 8 Ball is a plastic sphere, made to look like an oversized eight ball, that is designed to be used for fortune-telling or seeking advice- or for just having some fun.

The Magic 8 Ball was invented by Albert C. Carter, who was inspired by a spirit writing device used by his mother Mary, a Cincinnati clairvoyant.
Mary used a closed box version of the Spirit Slates magic trick, and called it a Syco Slate.
Intrigued, Albert wanted to come up with a device that would be "self working" so that the fortune seeker could use the device alone.
He eventually came up with the idea to suspend worded dice inside a clear cylinder filled with molasses.
Calling his creation the Syco Seer, he approached store owner Max Levinson about stocking the device.
Levinson called in his brother-in-law, Abe Bookman, a mechanical engineer, who realized the potential of the Syco Seer.
In 1944, Carter filed for a patent for the cylindrical device, assigning it in 1946 to Bookman, Levinson and another partner and formed Alabe Crafts, Inc., combining the founder's names, Albert and Abe.
Alabe marketed and sold the cylinder as The Syco-Slate.
Carter died shortly after, leaving Bookman to make "improvements" to The Syco-Slate, including in 1948 encasing the die in an iridescent crystal ball instead of the cylinder.
Though the spherical design was not initially successful, the revamped product caught the attention of Chicago's Brunswick Billiards, who in 1950 commissioned Alabe Crafts to change the crystal sphere into the form of a traditional black-and-white 8 ball.
The idea was to use the new 8 Ball as a promotion for their billiards products.
Originally offered as a paperweight, the Magic 8 Ball became popular as both an office toy and a children's toy.

In 1971, Bookman sold Alabe Crafts, Inc., to Ideal Toys, who marketed the ball mainly to children.
In 1987, the rights were again sold to Tyco Toys, spurring on another marketing campaign and resurgence in interest.
Tyco Toys was acquired by Mattel, the current manufacturer, in 1997.
Despite its numerous owners, the Magic 8 Ball has changed little in design and implementation.

The Magic 8 Ball is a hollow plastic sphere resembling a black-and-white 8 ball.
Its standard size is larger than an ordinary pool ball, but it has been made in different sizes.
Inside the ball, a cylindrical reservoir contains a white plastic 20-sided regular icosahedron die floating in alcohol that has been dyed dark blue.
Each of the die's 20 faces has an affirmative, negative, or non-committal statement printed in raised letters.
These messages are read through a window on the ball's bottom.
By the way, a standard Magic 8 Ball has twenty possible answers, including ten affirmative answers, five non-committal answers, and five negative answers.

To use the ball, it must be held with the window initially facing down to allow the die to float within the inside container.
After asking the ball a yes–no question, the user then turns the ball so that the window faces up.
The die floats to the top, and one face presses against the window.
The raised letters displace the blue liquid to reveal the message written as white letters on a blue background.
Although most users shake the ball before turning it upright, the instructions warn against doing so to avoid white bubbles.

While we don't sell the MAGIC 8 BALL at, it is readily available online- just Google it!

Want to read more? Here is an entertaining, more detailed account of the story of the MAGIC 8 BALL

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