The Origins of Wonder
While Wesley James contributed this control to Frank Garcia's Super Subtle Card Miracles, 1973, p. 165, see the very similar “To the Top” by J. Stewart Smith in The Top of the Deck , 1950, p. 17. The Smith sleight was reprinted a year previous to the Garcia book, in Pallbearers Review Vol. 6 No. 6, Apr. 1972, p. 413.
In The Legendary Kabbala, Ed Marlo claimed that the move was popular as early as 1946. The author, Jon Racherbaumer, wrote the following footnote: “[J. Stewart Smith] admitted that he saw a soldier do the move in 1942.”