The switching card box was described as being built into tea caddies within Henri Decremps's, La Magie Blanche Dévoilée, 1784, p. 63 of the English translation. In the same book, Decremps also details the concept in the context of making the ashes from a burnt card vanish (p. 16), and switching out a piece of paper from a snuff box (p. 24).
The box appeared several times in the 19th century as well, including in Sena Sama and Hamed Ben-Ali's The Whole Art of Legerdemain; or Hocus Pocus Laid Open and Explained, 1830, p. 24, and in a torn and restored trick called “The Letter” in R.P's Ein Spiel Karten, 1853, p. 27 of the Pieper translation.
A new form of this apparatus, sans flap, was invented by Glasgow magician Ernardo Veneri and was marketed some years after its creation, without credit, in the United States. George Mackenzie remarked on this in Mac's Monthly, Vol. 3 No. 1, Nov. 1946, p. 7. This information was given by Edwin Dawes in The Magic Circular, Vol. 101 No. 1092, July 2007, p. 210.