A quick Google came up with this.
The History of Terrariums
The bringing of the art of the terrarium is generally credited with a man called Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward. This came about with the publishing of his book called "On the Growth of Plants in Closely Glazed Cases" which he published in 1842. The second edition of this book was published in 1852 and is readily available in the public domain. Google books has it available here
During the Victorian Era and predominantly in England terrariums or "Wardian Cases" became very popular and many people kept them in their homes. But over the course of decades the practice fell in decline and in todays world they have made a bit of a comeback but have never reached the every day popularity that they had achieved in the days of Ward.
You can read the full article HERE
You may also find this useful. How To Make A Terrarium