This has come up before, and it seems Bart Whaley traced it back to "The Boy's Own Book" by William Clarke (1829):
http://www.geniimagazine.com/forums/ubb ... ber=107974
See The Turn-over on page 396 here:
http://books.google.com/books?id=XiMOAA ... &q&f=false
This is the 4th edition, but the same trick is also in my 1996 reprint of what seems to be the original edition of 1829.
In the thread mentioned above Philippe Billot refers to a precedent in "Le Testament de Jrme Sharp" (1793), which has a trick where you control four selections to the top and basically do the air pressure turnover four times. The difference is you don't drop the pack - you jog the card over with the thumb and swipe your hand down so that the card flies off and lands face up on the table. It's more surefire than the method where you drop the pack, which I personally could never get to work consistently. See here (page 105; the trick starts on page 102):
http://books.google.com/books?id=tEROAA ... &q&f=false
Edit: Sorry about the links - can anyone fix them?