The Magic 8 Ball is a toy used for fortune-telling or seeking advice, manufactured by Mattel. While Magic 8 Ball did not exist in its current form until 1950, the functional component was invented by Albert C. Carter, who was inspired by a 'spirit writing' device used by his mother, Mary, a Cincinnati clairvoyant. When store owner Max Levinson was approached by Carter about stocking the device, he called in his brother-in-law Abe Bookman, a graduate of Ohio Mechanics Institute. In 1944, Carter filed patent for his device, assigning it to Bookman, Levinson, and another partner in what came to be Alabe Crafts, Inc. (Albert and Abe) in 1946. Under the Alabe name, they marketed and sold the device as The Syco-Seer. Carter, who, according to Bookman, was an alcoholic, died sometime before the patent was granted in 1948. Bookman soon made improvements to the Syco-Seer and in 1948, it was encased in an iridescent crystal ball.
Contributions by Atlant, 188.8.131.52, and ClueBot.