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This principle turns up to hide reversed cards when the deck is fanned in a trick by Herbert Johnson, “The Instantaneous Reversed Pack,” described in Walter Gibson's Twenty New Practical Card Tricks, 1925, p. 16. Also see Ralph Hull's “Hull's 'Magic Picture Book' Deck” in More Eye-Openers, 1933, p. 16, in which a bridged deck, set with every other card reversed, can be made to spread loosely, showing only backs on both sides.
In 12 Tricks with a Borrowed Deck, 1940, p. 7, Martin Gardner described the principle in the context of ribbon spreading the deck.
The name has stuck with Dan Tong, who published his pad spread in Jerry Mentzer's Card Cavalcade, 1972, p. 106.