Make is a rapidly expanding movement urged on by the likes of Boing Boing, Instructables and the ever-present O'Reilly Media. Globally makers are experimenting at home with technology by taking things apart, adding functionality and creating their own completely new things. I used the vague term 'things' because makers are busy making thousands of thousands of "things" from robots to rockets, Bar-B-Q's to vases, spinning bow ties to swimming pools. The movement itself seems to be about rebelling against a manufactured mass produced world that has grown so technologically complex that we no longer understand any of the devices that fill our lives. Years ago everyone could fix their own cars, now nobody can. Makers rebel against this by playing with technology and creating their own. Technology that is cheap, easy to make, fun and that fits a particular purpose well. A lot of makers then make instructions of their completed projects so that others can follow them. This means that no matter how techno-challenged you are: there will always be some project you can do. The movement is rather democratic so it has no official history(that I am aware of).
I believe that make's genesis lies in the science projects we all used to do when we were kids, such as this fun one by NASA.
One of the first make things I ever did was this fun hovercraft on Make:zine.