Many items were marked, of course, but they were "prestige" items - European china for example - where the manufacturer and importer thought the source was a favorable selling point.
These "prestige" marks will name the manufacturer as well as the country and are normally very elaborate looking things with lions and crowns and coats of arms and so on - all intended to impress the brash Yankees.
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Before the Internet, there were personal ads, and before that, lonely shepherds carved detailed works of art into tree bark to communicate their longing for human contact.
If you see a mark that simply says a country name it was made after 1890 for export to the United States.
Once the requirement for foreign origins was imposed, many American manufacturers also began marking their items with some indication of source to take advantage of "Buy American" sentiment.