Before I get into the history, it may be worth checking out this link for a mild-mannered development of fandom and fandom terminology:
http://www.fanhistory.com/wiki/Fandom#History

And now to the history....


Arguably, the very first piece of fan literature still acknowledged as an ongoing fandom today is The Bible. Think about it: people gather together (in churches or bible studies) to reflect on a favorite work and discuss such work. They have their favorite verses, compare themselves to different "characters," etc. How is this any different from admiring the relationship between Jack and Kate (or Sawyer and Kate, your pick) from ABC's Lost or quoting obsessively "Got Jesus on my necklace" from Kesha's "We R Who We R"? It really isn't any different. And that's where fandom started. With the creation of the Bible. And it morphed into manga, boy bands, and Jack (not Matthew Fox this time, but Daniels. I'll get there later).

Arguably, another act of fandom was the Prohibition. A bunch of people gathering together over the limited resource of alcohol because it was taboo. Can we not justify that many parts of fandom are taboo? And c'mon, people gathering over alcohol--an ongoing, very popular fandom still encountered today.

Star Trek
Star Trek

But fandom really didn't take effect until the 1960s, when a certain little television show called Star Trek emerged. This became the norm of fandom--cultivating over a show with characters and relationships to root for, plot variances and the inability to control the outcome, but still allows for creativity. The Kirk and Spock formation became a beloved ship, even one recycled religiously on CBS's The Big Bang Theory.
In the 1970s, A bloom in anime and manga appeared in Japan. Fans would import copies of Japanese manga before they were legally released into the US. Conventions were held as well for these fans to gather over this united cause.

Likewise, Japan initiated the use of "cosplay." Cosplay is the act of dressing up in costumes, related to the fandom or characters within the fandom.

Then comes furry fandom, which is the use of animals with human qualities as a fandom. This is for the "bronies" of the world. That began in the 1980s.

One popular subcategory is bandom, band-fandom, the art of obsessing over a band. Remember the Beatles and Beatlemania? Fandom! This one is my personal favorite because I love music so much.
The Beatles...if you don't already know
The Beatles...if you don't already know

And that other UK band. Note: I would've resized this, but c'mon who wants this picture smaller?
And that other UK band. Note: I would've resized this, but c'mon who wants this picture smaller?