This section is from the book "The American Woman's Cook Book", by Ruth Berolzheimer. Also available from Amazon: The Domestic Arts Edition of the American Woman's Cook Book.
Perhaps in greater degree than any other domestic appointments, does china present an opportunity for indulgence of personal whim and the exercise of good taste on the part of the hostess. Today there are patterns for every occasion. Breakfast china is gay, sprightly; color runs rampant upon it; often whole gardens shine on its face. But it would not be used for a dinner, which demands fine china of exquisitely fine design. Luncheon is still another thing. Its china may vary as the season - or as the whim of the hostess.
Modern day impatience with formula and rite is nowhere more eloquently expressed than in the growing custom of using different patterns for different courses, all related by the thread of harmony. The hostess of today considers sameness identical with boredom. If she uses a cobalt and gold service plate, she may elect to use a simple gold-banded entree plate. The fish plate perhaps may have yellow bands to match the flowers in the center. The roast plate may present a pattern border, touched with gold, and yellow, and blue. Her dessert plate will be utterly different from any of the foregoing: it may strike an entirely new note; but it will not be discordant or jarring. Obviously, all dishes used in one course should match.