The use of a looped length of invisible thread was described in Conjurers' Monthly Magazine, Vol. 1 No. 6, Feb. 1907, p. 188, and again for more applications in the following issue (Vol. 1 No. 7, Mar. 1907, p. 221). Both descriptions appeared in a column titled “Some Old Tricks for New Beginners”, which suggests that the looped thread/hair idea was old even at this point. Other early uses of the prop include Will Goldston's “Magnetic Cards” type of trick, called “Gravity Defied” in Modern Card Tricks Without Apparatus, 1915, p. 63; and William F. Hanna's “A Unique Color Change” in The Sphinx, Vol. 15 No. 2, Apr. 1916, p. 28.
The adaptation of the idea to elastic thread was developed by Finn Jon. He began selling the loops through Georges Proust in Paris, c. 1985/6, marketing them under the name “Revolutionary Thread.”
See also thread tricks.