Selecting silverware or other flatware is very personal, yet an indication of preferences and tastes. Before I got married I can remember agonizing over which pattern to select. Today, the decision might be easier since most people purchase inexpensive stainless steel flatware, but the design still gives clues to the buyer’s personality. Some styles are very formal and traditional; others informal and trendy. Similarly, a hundred-years-ago people wanted to select the “right” silverware.
Here’s some excerpts of the advice in a hundred-year-old home economics textbook:
Silver and plated silver for knives, forks, and spoons, coffee and tea sets, all add to the charm of the table. Figure 70 shows some good designs in spoons. A simple design is easy to clean.
Three sizes of spoons, tablespoons, teaspoons, and coffee spoons, and two sizes of forks are all sufficient, with a few larger spoons for service and desserts.
Triple-plated ware lasts for years, if well cared for, and comes in good designs.
Pewter, familiar in olden days, is being used again in Colonial designs, and makes an attractive tea or coffee set, is less costly than solid silver, and has a better tone and color than plated ware.
Foods and Household Management: A Textbook of the Household Arts (1915)