Anyone fan of Penn and Teller knows that -- in their books, at least -- if they have to force a card it will almost certainly be the three of clubs. (The card on the headstone at Forest Lawn cemetary is the 3C).
I didn't think too much of this until I saw a photo of, I think, Harry Lorayne holding up a three of clubs. Since then I've seen it in several photos of magicians who preceeded Penn and Teller.
So I'm wondering: who started this mini-tradition. Jamy Ian Swiss pointed out one advantage of the 3C; it can be easily recognized from a distance (i.e. by a large crowd). This is also true of other cards.
So who first standardized the Three of Clubs as their force card?