The approach that manufacturers took differed greatly. In the most simple systems, you as the driver had a manual choke which adjusted the position of a choke flap upstream of the fuel jets. Some airboxes were designed so that in winter, the inlet tract could be rotated through 180 degrees to induct warm air from near the exhaust manifold as opposed to ambient air in the summer. Some very early vehicles even gave the driver advance and retard controls on the steering wheel to adjust the ignition advance.
The approach that more modern carburettor systems took was diverse to say the least and on certain carburettors, you'll see multiple approaches. One of note is Austin Rover which created a system which employed an oxygen sensor which fed back to electronics which controlled the carburettors fuel mixture screw using a motor on a worm-drive screw. It's worth adding that this system didn't work particularly well.
The carburettor I have on my bench at the moment is a Pierburg 2E2 which employs a fairly complex system. There is a "waxstat" which is quite literally a pin attached to a plug of wax which draws a feed from the cooling system. When cold, the wax is hard so the pin protrudes. As the system warms, the wax melts and the pin retracts adjusting the idle speed.
The choke flap is controlled by a combination of a bi-metallic spring which attaches to the spindle and again takes a feed from the engine coolant. As the car warms, the bi-metallic strip opens the choke flap. The choke is two stage in it's operation, returning to a stop based on the operation of the pull-down unit, an adjustable diaphragm with a vacuum feed, plus a set-screw for off-throttle. There is also a three-point (or four-point) unit which sets idle and fast-idle speed once the system has warmed up and come off choke. The four-point version includes a temporary enrichment for when you come from trailing throttle back to idle, intended for automatic transmission, which operates below 18 degrees celcius. Again, this uses a vacuum diaphragm, a loop of vacuum pipe and a restrictor in the incoming vacuum.
Other things you can set on various carburettors as the mechanic setting up a car are things like float height which governs how much fuel in held in the float chamber. You'll encounter things such as air drillings, emulsion tubes, main and idle jets and venturis. All of which are selected to provide specific amounts of fuel, air and how it all mixes. You'll also find inlet manifolds heated by coolant, by electric heaters and by exhaust gas.
On systems such as the SU carbs that classic Minis use feature a needle which sets fuel mixture by going into and out of a drilling. The needle can be changed, the strength of the spring can be changed and the top of the needle sits in an oil-filled reservoir.
Whilst I realise this isn't a shopping advice site, I can whole heartedly recommend you take a look at the Haynes Carburettor Manual ISBN 1859602886 if you want to read more on the subject.