The Origins of Wonder
This method, invented by Lee Asher, for secretly reversing a card or cards in the action of spreading a small packet was first published in Gary Ouellet The Pass, 1994, p. 109.
Edward Marlo's Count Reverse is a precursor: A reverse is done in the act of counting the cards of a small packet; see The Linking Ring, Vol.43 No. 9, Sep. 1963, p. 62.
A technique far less subject to angles than Marlo's Count Reverse was conceived by Alex Elmsley, around 1970 (as told by Elmsley to Jim Swain in conversation). Elmsley's reverse is described by Roy Walton in a trick titled “Smokescreen” in Cardboard Charades, 1971, pp. 11-3. Swain also described Elmsley's reverse in Don't Blink, 1992, p. 60.