Originally Posted by Nazca
I thought it was Steve Vai, but then I heard about this person named Lenny Breau had invented it first. I may be wrong.
Bingo - that name was all I needed. I googled his name and immediately found this: "Lenny Breau Remembered" By Jim Ferguson
This is from a reliable source (which Wikipedia requires) and although the article doesn't give an exact year, it can be deduced from the text that the instrument was built somewhere between 1979 and 1984.