By the late 1840s, glass-pressing technology had come a long way and pressed-glass tableware was being produced in vast quantities. Large matching sets were a common sight, as the glass industry in the United States continued to expand in order to meet the public’s rising demand for moderately priced dining wares. Colorless glass and simple patterns were especially popular in the mid-1850s, but other colors and patterns ruled at different times. Previously, fine dining services were reserved for the wealthy, but with the advent of mass production, the middle class became a significant new market. Today, glass cake plates are often seen in bakeries and at formal events where they are used as display items. New models are still sometimes seen in homes, while older models are often handed down as treasured family heirlooms.