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A Brief History of the Magic 8 Ball

Since the 1950s, generation after generation of children have turned to one object to provide answers to the more burning yes/no questions of life: the Magic 8 Ball. But was the Magic 8 Ball always intended as a children’s fortune-telling toy? And why, of all things, is it shaped like a billiard ball?

If you were to grab the Magic 8 Ball off your desk right now and ask it “Will this article answer all those questions and more?” the words “Without a Doubt” would hopefully emerge through the murky blue liquid. However, with mathematical probability taken into consideration, this might not be the case; after consulting Dr. Lucien Cohen, a psychology professor at the University of Cincinnati, the creators of the Magic 8 Ball decided upon 20 possible responses: 10 positive, five negative, and five indifferent.

IT BEGAN WITH A CLAIRVOYANT’S SON ...

From an early age, Albert C. Carter, the son of a Cincinnati clairvoyant, found himself surrounded by all things mystical. As his mother Mary’s popularity as a medium increased, so too did Albert’s interest in her work. In particular, he—like the majority of her clients—was fascinated by one of her fortune-telling inventions: the Psycho-Slate.

The Psycho-Slate consisted of a small chalkboard that could be placed inside of a sealed container. While with a client, Mary would close the lid of the container and ask a question aloud to the “other world.” To her clients’ amazement, the room would fill with the sounds of chalk scribbling across the board. When the scratchings died down, Mary would then open the container to reveal the answer as dictated by the spirits. While no one is quite sure exactly how Mary achieved the results, it is safe to say that this inspired Albert to create his own version of the Psycho-Slate—one that didn’t require any psychic ability.

In 1944, Carter completed the device that he would call the Syco-Seer. The result was a liquid-filled tube, divided in the center. On each end, a clear window allowed a view of the worded dice Carter had placed in each half. By turning the tube upright, one die would slowly raise through the viscous liquid, revealing a response to the user’s question. (In his book, Timeless Toys: Classic Toys and the Playmakers Who Created Them, author Tim Walsh claims that Carter used molasses early on.)

Feeling confident in the Syco-Seer, Carter presented the prototype to a local Cincinnati store owner, Max Levinson. Levinson immediately took to the idea, so much so that he expressed an interest in working with Carter to mass-produce the Syco-Seer. To accomplish this, Levinson contacted his brother-in-law, Abe Bookman.

ALONG CAME BOOKMAN

Abe Bookman, or Buchmann as he was known before the Anglicization of his name in 1955, was a first-generation American born to Russian Jewish parents. A smart and business-savvy man, Bookman graduated from the Ohio Mechanics Institute in 1921. Because of this, Carter and Levinson turned to Bookman to handle the logistics of producing the Syco-Seer on a larger scale.

They formed a novelty company, Alabe Crafts, Inc. (a combination of Abe and Albert’s first names) in 1946. Under Bookman’s guidance, Alabe Crafts produced and marketed the Syco-Seer as a “Miracle Home Fortune-Teller.”

Though Carter had applied for a patent for his “Liquid Filled Dice Agitator” on September 23, 1944, he unfortunately didn’t live to see it granted in 1948. While it is unclear what became of Carter in his final years or exactly when he died, most sources state the cause of his troubles stemmed from his “gypsy lifestyle” and alcoholism. Luckily for Alabe Crafts, Carter had shared the patent assignment credit with Bookman and Levinson.

REDESIGNS, RE-MARKETING, AND THE BIRTH OF THE MAGIC 8 BALL

Following Carter’s passing, Bookman spearheaded a redesign of the Syco-Seer. In order to reduce to cost of production, Bookman removed one end of the tube, turning it into a smaller, single-windowed viewer. With this slimming change, Bookman decided to rebrand the Syco-Seer as the Syco-Slate: The Pocket Fortune Teller.

In 1948, Bookman opted for another redesign, this time in an attempt to tie in a marketing theme; he placed the Syco-Slate tube inside a crystal ball. While this did nothing to improve sales, it garnered the attention of Brunswick Billiards who, in 1950, were on the lookout for a fun item to use as a potential giveaway to promote their Chicago-based billiards company.

Bookman jumped at the opportunity. He changed the design once again, replacing the crystal ball with the iconic black 8 ball we know today. Once the promotion had ended and Bookman’s contract with Brunswick was fulfilled, he decided to keep the 8 ball design, energized by the success of the giveaway.

Bookman then went on to market the Magic 8 Ball as a paperweight. It wasn’t until he noticed the 8 Ball’s popularity among children that Bookman decided to re-market the product as a toy. With this, the Magic 8 Ball quickly found its footing.

In 1971, Bookman sold Alabe Crafts and the Magic 8 Ball to Ideal Toys. Today, the Ball is owned by Mattel, who claims to sell a million Magic 8 Balls every year. In 2011, TIME Magazine named the Magic 8 Ball as one of the “All-TIME 100 Greatest Toys.”

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Sours: https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/67702/brief-history-magic-8-ball

MAGIC EIGHT (8) BALL GAME ASK YES/NO QUESTIONS FOR ACCURATE ANSWERS

Interactive Black Magical Eight Ball Toy: History & Origins of the Virtual Magic Ball

What are the origins and history of the famous magic eight ball toy and game? What is the secret hidden meaning behind the black magic 8 ball? Although widely known since the 1990s around the USA as a popular plastic children's toy distributed by Mattel, the crazy concept of a fortune-telling psychic black magic eight pool (or billiards) ball first appeared, interestingly enough, in the Three Stooges movie You Nazty Spy in 1940, when it was referred to as a black "magic ball." That movie may have been a slapstick comedy, but the virtual Magic Eight Ball app has since become a real fortune-telling device in many eyes. In 1950, the Magic 8 ball toy that we know and love today was invented and patented by Albert C. Carter, who was inspired by a fortune-telling crystal ball used by his mother, a famous clairvoyant. And the world has never been the same ever since!

Magic Eight (8) Ball Game: Ask Yes/No Questions for Accurate Answers virtual interactive app genie love crazy oracleSours: https://legomenon.com/ask-magic-8-ball-game-online.html
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Magic 8 Ball, Magic eight ball, 8 Ball Magic: ask your questions, get answers.

Concentrate on your question and write it in the box bellow and ask the magic 8 ball. Magic Ball gives you answers on what you want in one click.

The mystic 8 ball or eight ball give you answers ! Ask to the magic ball questions and get all answers on your questions. It's cool and fun to use the magic ball 8. Also called the Yes or no ball, our website allow you to consult the Magic 8 ball. Thousands people use it every day, the 8 magic ball is simple : just ask a question and click on the button. The 8 ball magic allows is a famous prediction game !The magic ball eight has been created in the 50's and was produced by mattel. Eight Ball is a toy and is just a game. Online magic 8 ball answers your yes no questions. Just test it, it's fun.

Are you looking for a magic ball in French to answer all your questions? Then you've come to the right place! But before asking your questions to our magic 8 ball, why don't you ask about its origins and its role? It's up to you to believe or not in the predictions of the ball yes or no, but you have to admit that some of its answers are icy with truth... What is the magic ball? If you've never dealt with a prediction ball before, it may be useful to remember what this unusual procedure consists of. The magic eight ball, also known as "magic eight ball", is a fun prediction process that answers your questions. Ask your magic eight ball any question and it will answer you more or less clearly. At the crossroads between gambling, prediction ball or decision aid, the magic 8 ball is there to help you, when it alone can answer a burning question you are asking yourself. The origins of the magic 8 ball The prediction ball is an object clearly anchored in popular culture. It is a magic ball that answers the questions that will leave a lasting impression on people's minds! But where does the concept of "prediction ball" really come from? And why did you choose an 8 ball to represent it? You will see that the creation of this truth ball is not as mystical as it seems... Where does the magic 8 ball come from? What if we revealed to you that the ball that says yes or no is nothing more than a toy? Yes, this famous magic 8 ball that everyone knows was born as a toy produced by Mattel in 1946! This magic 8 ball toy contained a 20-sided dice, each side revealing a specific answer. The principle of the magic billiard ball was then simple: Ask your ball a question. Shake the ball to make the dice spin. Examine the answer that chance has chosen for you. Mattel's toy had 5 negative answers ("Unlikely", "Don't count on it!", etc.), 8 positive answers ("For sure", "Absolutely yes", etc.) and 7 vague answers ("Try again", "Ask your question again", etc.). This was often referred to as the "yes or no ball" because the questions to be asked had to be answered in the affirmative or negative for the prediction ball's answer to make sense. Our little extra: thanks to our magic ball in French and online, the ball can now offer you well over 20 answers, and thus shed even more light on your most secret questions! Why an 8 ball? We now know that the magic 8 ball is a toy, but it remains to be determined why we chose to materialize this truth ball in the form of an 8 ball? While it is obvious that the shape of the ball makes this magic 8 ball toy more playful and easy to handle, did you know that the choice of this particular black billiard ball was not insignificant? In popular belief, the 8-ball billiard ball is a sign of luck or chance. It can also be considered a symbol of life or death. And this for several reasons: The 8-ball is the main protagonist of the "8-Ball Game", a billiard game that consists of dropping all the balls... except the 8-ball! This black billiard ball must be the last ball to be cleared from the table. It can therefore represent the winner's luck. As the eight ball is the last to fall, it can also be considered as a symbol of life (the last to stay alive). The number 8, present on this black ball, is also rich in meaning. In particular, it can represent infinity or the cycle of life (in the form of a double loop), just as it can represent wealth and prosperity, especially in Chinese culture. If you are the superstitious type, it seems obvious that our magic 8 ball can only bring you luck! Other inspirations of the prediction ball To conclude on the origins of the ball yes or no, it is difficult to miss its more occult inspiration. It seems obvious that the magic eight ball is directly inspired by the famous crystal ball, it allows you to question the future and receive the answers to all your questions. But while a crystal ball requires the gift of clairvoyance, the magic eight ball offers answers that are legible (though sometimes evasive) to the common man. Faced with so many inspirations, it is easy to understand why this prediction ball exerts a real fascination in popular culture... What can I ask the magic ball? Originally, the magic ball toy only answered questions that could be answered with a yes or no.

Sours: https://www.8-ball-magic.com/
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Magic 8-Ball

The Magic 8-Ball is a plastic sphere, made to look like an eight-ball, that is used for fortune-telling or seeking advice. It was invented in 1946 by Albert C. Carter and Abe Bookman and is currently manufactured by Mattel. The user asks a yes–no question to the ball, then turns it over to reveal an answer in a window on the ball.

Origin[edit]

The functional component of 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.[1] When Carter approached store owner Max Levinson about stocking the device, Levinson called in Abe Bookman, Levinson's brother-in-law, and graduate of Ohio Mechanics Institute. In 1944, Carter filed for a patent[2] for the cylindrical device, assigning it in 1946 to Bookman, Levinson and another partner in what came to be Alabe Crafts, Inc., combining the founder's names, Albert and Abe. Alabe marketed and sold the cylinder as The Syco-Slate. Carter died sometime before the patent was granted in 1948. Bookman made improvements to The Syco-Slate, and in 1948 it was encased in an iridescent crystal ball. Though not successful, the revamped product caught the attention of Chicago's Brunswick Billiards, who in 1950 commissioned Alabe Crafts to make a version in the form of a traditional black-and-white 8-ball,[3] which was possibly inspired by a gag in the 1940 Three Stoogesshort film, You Nazty Spy!.[4]

Cultural impact[edit]

Although originally sold as a paper-weight, like many toys and gadgets, the Magic 8-Ball would go on to become a fad, or "must-have" in several decades; with subsequent generations finding joy in its mystery. This was not just as an executive toy, but also a "craze" among youngsters.

In 1971, Bookman sold Alabe Crafts, Inc., to Ideal Toys[5] who marketed the ball firmly at children. In 1987, the rights were again sold to Tyco Toys,[6] spurring on another marketing campaign and resurgence in interest. Despite its numerous owners, the Magic 8-Ball has changed little in design and implementation.

Design and usage[edit]

One of the possible responses of the Magic 8-Ball.

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 icosahedrondie floating in approximately 100ml (3½ fl. oz.) of alcohol 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.

To use the ball, it must be held with the window initially facing down to allow the die to float within the cylinder. 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 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. Many users find entertainment with this device. It has continued to be a popular gift item since its release.

While the Magic 8 Ball has undergone very few changes, an addition in 1975 by new owners, Ideal Toy Company, fixed the bubble problem.[7] Their patented "Bubble Free Die Agitator", an inverted funnel, rerouted the air trapped inside. The solution has been utilized ever since.

Possible answers[edit]

A standard Magic 8 Ball has 20 possible answers, including 10 affirmative answers (●), 5 non-committal answers (●), and 5 negative answers (●).

● It is certain.
● It is decidedly so.
● Without a doubt.
● Yes definitely.
● You may rely on it.

● As I see it, yes.
● Most likely.
● Outlook good.
● Yes.
● Signs point to yes.

● Reply hazy, try again.
● Ask again later.
● Better not tell you now.
● Cannot predict now.
● Concentrate and ask again.

● Don't count on it.
● My reply is no.
● My sources say no.
● Outlook not so good.
● Very doubtful.

Live-action film adaptation[edit]

A live-action thriller film based on the toy is in development at Blumhouse Productions, with Jeff Wadlow signed on as the director.[8][9]

See also[edit]

Patents[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^"Where Did the Idea for the Magic 8 Ball Come From?". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2021-04-14.
  2. ^Coopee, Todd. "Magic 8 Ball from Alabe Crafts (1946)". ToyTales.ca.
  3. ^Walsh, Tim. (2001). The Playmakers: Amazing Origins of Timeless Toys, pp. 94–5. Keys Publishing, Sarasota. ISBN 0-9646973-4-3.
  4. ^Minichiello, Mia (2015). "The Great Dictator (film)". Salem Press Encyclopedia. Salem Press.
  5. ^"A Brief History of the Magic 8 Ball". www.mentalfloss.com. 2015-08-24. Retrieved 2021-06-04.
  6. ^"Abe Bookman, UC alum, created everlasting Magic 8 Ball". University of Cincinnati. Retrieved 2021-06-04.
  7. ^"Today I Found Out". Today I Found Out.
  8. ^D'Alessandro, Anthony; D'Alessandro, Anthony (June 3, 2019). "Mattel Films & Blumhouse Team For 'Magic 8 Ball', 'Truth Or Dare's Jeff Wadlow Set To Direct". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 18, 2021.
  9. ^Whitten, Sarah (July 25, 2019). "Mattel is making a Magic 8-Ball movie with horror movie titan Blumhouse". CNBC. Retrieved September 18, 2021.

External links[edit]

Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_8-Ball

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