A Bit of History on the Magic 8 Ball

Filed under: Magic 8 Ball - 06 Sep 2012  | Spread the word !

Origins of the Magic 8 Ball

The Magic 8 Ball is a fun toy to have around the house, especially when you have some friends over for a party and want to have fun. But what do you really know about this toy? The Magic 8 Ball was invented by Albert Carter. Albert Carter grew up in Cincinnati, in a time when spiritualism was at its peak, and in a house where his mother was a clairvoyant.


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Inspired by his mother’s qualities, he invented a fortune telling device of his own, called the Syco-Seer. In 1946, Carter forged a business partnership with Abe Bookman to mass produce this device. Carter passed away before seeing his product patented. Nevertheless, Bookman continued to perfect the device and finally managed to patent it to what is today known as the Magic 8 Ball.

Syco Seer, Precursor of Magic 8 Ball

The Syco-Seer wasn’t a ball, it was a cylinder, but it still operated under the same principles that would be incorporated into the Magic 8 Ball. Instead of one die, the Syco-Seer had two suspended in the same murky liquid used in the later Magic 8 Ball.


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In 1950, Brunswick Billiards hired Alabe Crafts to make some of its fortune telling balls look like pool balls as part of a promotional campaign. Alabe responded by encasing its fortune teller cylinders into an oversized 8 ball sphere and thus, the Magic 8 Ball was born.

How Does the Magic 8 Ball Work?

The 20 sided die located inside the Magic Ball is made of a white plastic material with raised lettering suspended in a mysterious blue liquid. The lettering is raised so that the letters will be visible as they press upon the clear window. You should not over-shake the Ball as this may create air bubbles that will interfere with the letters’ ability to seal against the clear window, making them illegible.


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What Are the Answers of the Magic 8 Ball?

Of the die’s 20 responses, 10 of them are affirmative statements, 5 are vague, and 5 are negative. They are:

  • As I see it, yes
  • Ask again later
  • Better not tell you now
  • Cannot predict now
  • Concentrate and ask again
  • Don’t count on it
  • It is certain
  • It is decidedly so
  • Most likely
  • My reply is no
  • My sources say no
  • Outlook good
  • Outlook not so good
  • Reply hazy, try again
  • Signs point to yes
  • Very doubtful
  • Without a doubt
  • Yes
  • Yes, definitely
  • You may rely on it.

The Magic 8 Ball can be used for all kinds of occasions, parties or gatherings, just to make the evening more interesting and fun!