Bernard and Tony - my understanding is that William Heacock began naming the patterns in his second book on Opalescent Glass. He then continued this in the journal "The Glass Collector" (esp issues #5 and #6 1983). He did note in issue 5:
Surprisingly, even with new research being published in England, the writers there tend to shy away from officially naming patterns, preferring instead to stick with original numbers and names (when known). We Americans tend to collect by name, so I trust my British peers will forgive a "foreigner" for naming glass of English heritage. I too have English ancestry, which somehow helps the guilt I am feeling".
I do understand his point of view to an extent. It IS easier to remember a name than a number, there's no doubt about that. But on the other hand I don't like some of the names he chose, and it does seem wrong to use contrived names where the correct factory pattern number is known.
Having said that, I am guilty, to some extent, of doing a similar thing. I have named a lot (yes a LOT
) of Carnival Glass patterns that previously had no known/reported name. In one or two cases I have since found an original name and have then continued to refer to the patterns by their "new" name as well as the original one.