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Magic 8 Ball
By Euphrates
Magic 8 Ball Remember kids at school making those folded-paper fortune tellers? You know, your friend puts their fingers in the device and you select a number on the outside. After some opening and closing of the contraption your mate would open up a flap to reveal that you liked little Becky Stinkerwoltz. Well, in the late '40s the Alabe Crafts company merged the schoolyard-tested idea of the folded-paper fortune telling system with a plastic 8-ball. Ask the ball a question, give it a shake and then look in the "Spirit Slate" for the answer. Some of the possible responses were:

Ask Again Later
Better Not Tell You Now
Concentrate and Ask Again
Don't Count on It
It Is Certain
Most Likely
My Reply is No
My Sources Say No
Outlook Good
Outlook Not So Good
Reply Hazy, Try Again
Signs Point to Yes
Yes, Definitely
You May Rely On It

The ball itself was about 3 1/2-inches in diameter and was manufactured with slightly flattend areas on them so that they could sit on a table without rolling. In fact, they were originally promoted as a paperweight or a conversation piece.

There have been many imitators, especially since the '70s. Avon made a lotion-filled 8-Ball. There have also been Magic 8-Ball styled key-chains, Yodas and Smiley Faces. Alabe continued rolling out the original 8-Balls well into the '70s.

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