Compact chainsets seem a new thing to me, those 50/34T ones that now seem common. Only a very short time ago 39T was as low as you got on a roadbike double and before that 42T. Did compact 50/34T doubles exist in the 70's/80's ?
Stronglight 99 chainsets were a handy ie small 86 bcd with rings right down to 28 on a double (more commonly 34/48 or similar) making them useful for touring or 'cross and the now obsolete sizes like 116 (old Campy) and 118 (Ofmega, SR) also gave option of slightly smaller rings than the ubiquitous 130 bcd.
I'm not sure when 110 bcd first became popular, guessing mid 1980s, but it's funny how it came back into fashion again with compact road chainsets - it's much more sensible than 130 bcd IMO, nobody really wants a triple on a road bike!