Melamine plates and matching accessories were a common choice for families in the fifties and sixties. I remember a lot of crazy patterns from my friends' and relatives' homes.
When I look at this plate ad from a 1966 Ladies Home Journal, I can picture in my mind exactly who would have owned each of these plates, based on their ages and relative level of grooviness.
Sadly, we did not have any melamine, which probably meant that it was never available at the Sears Employee Store where my father shopped religiously. Virtually everything we owned had a Was/Now sticker on it, and when he died, we found scads of things in his garage that still bore those stickers, despite the store having closed more than a decade earlier.
You can still find these old designs, usually in singles only, at a variety of thrift stores, although there are some great retro inspired melamine plate designs available new that will get your kitchen in the vintage groove, and possibly even hide a vegetable or two.
Retro Melamine Plates