The technique of dribbling or dropping cards, and stopping at a predetermined location in the deck came before the idea to use the concept as a force. There are two handlings described in the anonymous Asti Manuscript, c. 1700, p. 114-115 of the Pieper translation. This manuscript was translated in Gibecière, Vol.8 No.1, Winter 2013, p. 29-234.
The same concept using a long card is briefly taught by Professor Hoffmann in Modern Magic, 1876, p. 62. See the second paragraph of “A Card Having Been Chosen and Returned, and the Pack Shuffled, to Produce the Chosen Card Instantly in Various Ways.”