Glass companies were pretty smart. They knew line extensions – coming up with more pieces in the same pattern – was easier than developing and marketing brand new patterns all while giving consumers something new to buy. You can always tell which patterns were successful for companies like Fostoria by looking at the piece counts. Short-lived patterns generally had just a few pieces while the more popular designs had dozens.
A good example of proliferation is with creamers and sugars. Most patterns offered a creamer and matching sugar, usually 3-4 inches tall and meant for daily family use at the table. Fostoria offered this size in their lovely Lido etch.
Glass companies came out with smaller creamers and sugars, usually about 3 inches tall, meant for individual use. I’ve seen these described as “hotel” sets or “individual” sets. Size difference between a 3 inch and a 4 inch tall creamer may not sound like much but remember the widths are in proportion and an individual creamer is considerably smaller than the regular one.
Sometimes the companies produced little trays to go under the creamers and sugar sets. This is an excellent idea to avoid getting milk drips or sugar sprinkles on your table. I wish companies still made these. When we use a tablecloth Dave puts a plate under the cream pitcher and wouldn’t a special little tray be nicer!