top of page

What's The Story Behind The Magic 8-Ball?

Have you ever wondered how the magic 8-ball was invented? Well our curiosity lead us to wikipedia to see if we could get some information on the background of this popular toy and we found that the origin story of the magic 8-ball is actually really super interesting. You have to go back all the way to the 1940's when an inventor named Albert C. Carter was inspired by his mother (who was a clairvoyant) to make a device that could help you make predictions for your future. The original way the device was structured was much different than the finished product you see today. The first incarnation of it was to have the fortune telling dice inside of just a simple cylinder. Carter approached a store owner named Max Levinson about stocking the device and Levinson reached out to his brother in law, Abe Bookman, for help. In 1944 Abe and Albert combined their names into a company called Alabe crafts and filed for a patent in 1944. Carter died before the patent was granted in 1948. Bookman as a result took on the cylinder device and tried to improve on it, eventually encasing the cylinder inside of a crystal ball. However this was still not enough to get it to sell. Lucky for Abe though, in 1950 Brunswick Billiards commissioned them to make a special one for them in the shape of an 8-ball instead of the crystal ball that it was encased in. There is a theory that this was inspired by a gag in the three stooges short film "You Nazty Spy!" which was released in 1940. The rest of course is history, and the magic 8-ball would go on to be one of the most popular toys of all time. It's still popular today and the best part is you can still get it for under $20. Amazon has it available for only $9.99 and it has a 4.6 star score on over 7500 ratings.

NOTE: All price and review info is based on the time of posting. The numbers may have changed since the creation of this article. All links to Amazon on this page are part of the Associates program which gives us commissions, thanks for your support!


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page