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doniazade//LEGO Ideas
doniazade//LEGO Ideas

A Revolutionary Toy Idea: 'Hamilton: The LEGO Set' 

doniazade//LEGO Ideas
doniazade//LEGO Ideas

Can't score Hamilton tickets? Thanks to one fan's LEGO-loving husband, you may soon be able to recreate the magic of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s historical musical in your very own living room.

Earlier this month, LEGO Ideas community member doniazade submitted a Hamilton-inspired LEGO set to the LEGO Ideas website. It's a miniature replica of the musical’s stage, complete with tiny figures of Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, the Schuyler sisters, and other characters. If 10,000 different fans support the design, it will become eligible for review to become a real-life LEGO product.

Not surprisingly, doniazade is a huge Hamilton fan. "I don't remember exactly how my Hamilton journey began, just that, despite being neither American nor a musical fan, I got hooked to the cast recording immediately," doniazade explains in her submission to the LEGO Ideas website. "Some months later, I travelled to the greatest city in the world to see it with my own two eyes. And last Christmas, my husband gave me the most thoughtful gift: a custom Hamilton Lego set…"

As of March 7, the Hamilton LEGO set—which doniazade has dubbed "Hamilton: A Lego Musical"—had already reached more than 2500 supporters, meaning it’s well on its way toward meeting the coveted 10,000 number. ("The plan is to fan this spark into a flame," to quote a fitting line from the Hamilton song "My Shot.")

Check out some pictures of the Hamilton LEGO set below.

All images courtesy of doniazade//LEGO Ideas

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Ker Robertson, Getty Images
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architecture
5 Scrapped Designs for the World's Most Famous Buildings
Ker Robertson, Getty Images
Ker Robertson, Getty Images

When an architect gets commissioned to build a skyscraper or a memorial, they’re usually not the only applicant for the job. Other teams of designers submit their own ideas for how it should look, too, but these are eventually passed over in favor of the final design. This is the case for some of the world’s most recognizable landmarks—in an alternate world, the Arc de Triomphe might have been a three-story-tall elephant statue, and the Lincoln Memorial a step pyramid.

GoCompare, a comparison site for financial services, dug into these could-have-been designs for Alternate Architecture, an illustrated collection of scrapped designs for some of the most famous structures in the world, from Chicago's Tribune Tower to the Sydney Opera House.

Click through the interactive graphic below to explore rejected designs for all five landmarks.

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George Mayerle, U.S. National Library of Medicine // Public Domain
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Design
This 1907 Vision Test Was Designed for People of All Nationalities
George Mayerle, U.S. National Library of Medicine // Public Domain
George Mayerle, U.S. National Library of Medicine // Public Domain

At the turn of the 20th century, San Francisco was a diverse place. In fact, Angel Island Immigration Station, located on an island in the San Francisco Bay, was known as the “Ellis Island of the West,” processing some 300,000 people coming to the U.S. in the early 1900s. George Mayerle, a German optometrist working in the city at the time, encountered this diversity of languages and cultures every day in his practice. So in the 1890s, Mayerle created what was billed as “the only [eye] chart published that can be used by people of any nationality,” as The Public Domain Review alerts us.

Anticipating the difficulty immigrants, like those from China or Russia, would face when trying to read a vision test made solely with Roman letters for English-speaking readers, he designed a test that included multiple scripts. For his patients that were illiterate, he included symbols. It features two different styles of Roman scripts for English-speaking and European readers, and characters in Cyrillic, Hebrew, Japanese, and Chinese scripts as well as drawings of dogs, cats, and eyes designed to test the vision of children and others who couldn't read.

The chart, published in 1907 and measuring 22 inches by 28 inches, was double-sided, featuring black text on a white background on one side and white text on a black background on the other. According to Stephen P. Rice, an American studies professor at Ramapo College of New Jersey, there are other facets of the chart designed to test for a wide range of vision issues, including astigmatism and color vision.

As he explains in the 2012 history of the National Library of Medicine’s collections, Hidden Treasure [PDF], the worldly angle was partly a marketing strategy on Mayerle’s part. (He told fellow optometrists that the design “makes a good impression and convinces the patient of your professional expertness.”)

But that doesn’t make it a less valuable historical object. As Rice writes, “the ‘international’ chart is an artifact of an immigrant nation—produced by a German optician in a polyglot city where West met East (and which was then undergoing massive rebuilding after the 1906 earthquake)—and of a globalizing economy.”

These days, you probably won’t find a doctor who still uses Mayerle’s chart. But some century-old vision tests are still in use today. Shinobu Ishihara’s design for a visual test for colorblindness—those familiar circles filled with colored dots that form numbers in the center—were first sold internationally in 1917, and they remain the most popular way to identify deficiencies in color vision.

[h/t The Public Domain Review]

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