According to Amazon Rubber Boom
From the beginning of the second half of the 19th century, rubber began to exert a strong attraction to visionary entrepreneurs. The activity of latex extraction in the Amazon revealed its lucrative possibilities. Natural rubber soon achieved a place of distinction in the industries of Europe and North America, reaching a high price. This caused various people to travel to Brazil with the intention of learning more about the rubber tree and the process of latex extraction, from which they hoped to make their fortunes.
Because of the growth of rubber extraction, industrial processing and related activities, numerous cities and towns swelled on waves of immigrants. In 1855, over 2,100 tons of rubber was exported from the Amazon; a figure which reached 10,000 tons by 1879.
Wikipedia along with other sources also say the rubber boom started in 1879: 'First rubber boom, 1879–1912' ... 'The rubber boom occurred largely between 1879 and 1912'.
Yet the description with accompanying figures sounds more like production smoothly increasing. What happened in 1879, that this is considered the year in which the boom started?