Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Magic 8 Ball

The Magic 8 ball is a toy that was invented by Albert Carter used for fortune telling or for people to seek for advice. The magic eight ball was invented in the 1940s however, did not hit the stores until 1950. A spirit writer device that was used by Albert Carter mother, Mary Carter, a Cincinnati clairvoyant, inspired the invention. Once the invention was ready for the shelves, Albert took it to a store owned by Max Levinson and asked him if he would like to put his invention up for sale. Levinson called his brother-in-law Abe Bookman, who was a graduate of Ohio Mechanics Institute. In 1944, Carter signed a contact with Bookman and Levinson and was later became partners of Alabe Crafts Inc, in 1946. Once the invention hit the market, it was renamed and sold as “The Syco-Seer” and in 1948; they renamed it to “crystal ball.” With those names, the invention was unsuccessful; the revamped product caught the attention of the Chicago’s Brunswick Billiards. That gave them the idea to make a version in the form of the traditional black and white ball in 1950 and became to be known as “the magic 8 ball”

There are 20 possible answers all general responses, 10 answers agreeing, 5 answers for uncertainly and 5 digressing answers. Using the coupon collector’s problem in probability theory, it can be shown that it takes, on average 72 outcomes of the magic eight ball for all 20 of the answers will appear at least once. The name took off and the magic 8 ball started to fly off the shelves, people started to believe that the magic eight ball had the answers to the entire question they had. People usually ask basic yes or no questions therefore it made people believe the magic eight ball actually had the power to tell the future events.

Diana Elgueta

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