It's one of life's great mysteries. The Magic 8 Ball has insight into the deepest and darkest questions of the human mind.
In the 1940 Three Stooges short, You Nazty Spy, an 8-ball was used as a fortune telling device and was referred to as a "magic ball". The functional part of the 8 ball was created by Albert C. Carter. Carter was inspired by a spirit writing device that his mother used as a clairvoyant in Cincinnati. Carter approached a store owner, Max Levinson, about stocking and selling the device. Levinson soon called in his brother-in-law Abe Bookman, a graduate of Ohio Mechanics Institute. Carter filed the patent for his device in 1944, assigning it to Bookman, Levinson, and another partner in what was soon to be called Alabe Crafts, Inc. (Albert and Abe) in 1946. With the Alabe name, they marketed and sold the device as The Syco-Seer. Bookman claimed that Carter was an alcoholic and died sometime before the patent was granted in 1948. Shortly after, Bookman made improvements to the Syco-Seer and in 1948, it was housed in an iridescent crystal ball. Though unsuccessful, the updated product caught the attention of Chicago's Brunswick Billiards. In 1950 Brunswick commissioned Alabe Crafts to make a new version in the form of the traditional black and white 8-ball. - Wikipedia
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