Interesting thing is to why that boom happened - I have a copy of a paper someone wrote about the fact there was a beard boom from 1850's to 1890's.
It said that there were many pamphlets being published that talked about illnesses from shaving - not a completely alien idea, since with cut-throat razors and tetanus and the like it was a real possibility. But there were also some rather interestingly cult-like ones about vitality of men, that cutting the beard was taking men's power like Samson, and that men should be naturally bearded - some invoking some evolution ideas if I recall correctly. It was like a cult of the beard....a Masonic Lodge of Beardiness. Also a crisis in masculinity, and early women's movements maybe?
BTW that's on JSTOR too - it's where my partner pulled it from.
Also, if I ever get a Time Machine thanks - I just got a target date, about 1885 or before, London, England. Geronimo! (oh he can stay where he is, no beard...)