Victorian gentlemen feature on many of the tweets, sporting impressive beards and moustaches so there is a preponderance of well groomed, male facial hair.
Casebook F5 in the West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum archives held by West Yorkshire Archive Service, Wakefield holds something hairy and different dating from 1843. Sadly no photographs at that time and no illustration so I’m stealing a few paragraphs from my book Proper People where I write briefly about one of the patients, including a transcription of her physician’s entry in her case notes.
Forty-one year old Martha BELL from Bilton cum Harrogate was readmitted to the Asylum on 10th February, 1831, having previously been discharged, cured, on 20th March, 1826. Her case notes contain a surprising description of Martha.
December, 1843. Face pale, features coarse and strong, chin covered with a beard 9 or 10 inches long, which she wraps up in curl-papers: she is demented and deluded, has a most violent temper and noisy tongue if anything irreverent is said of her beard on which she prizes herself.
On this occasion Martha BELL spent over 30 years in the Asylum before her death, at the age of 71, on 14th May, 1861.So it not just well-groomed male facial hair which can be found in our archives!