A photograph of a set of two knifes and two forks. One of the forks has two prongs, the other has three. The handles on each piece match.

Around 1650, many middle class diners had to make do with rough brown pottery and cloudy glass because the only alternatives were expensive imports. They did not use forks, but ate with a spoon or their fingers. When you went to eat at someone else's house, you often took your own knife and spoon with you.

From around 1750 the industrial and consumer revolution had started. British manufacturers now made refined white pottery and clear glass. Table manners also became more refined and most people ate with a fork. Growing economic prosperity meant that more people could afford the new goods on sale and so encouraged the industries producing them.