FEATURE — A history buff and a Lego hobbyist, Jack Little of Florida has admired the Golden Spike for as long as he can remember. His love of history, he said, has driven him to create a Lego model of Utah’s historic Golden Spike Ceremony which he has entered into a contest called Lego Ideas.
Lego Ideas invites people to be creative, come up with an original idea and have it considered for a Lego product. Once a submitted product has received 10,000 votes or supporters, a Lego review board will consider it for mass-production. If the idea is approved, it goes into production for worldwide release. According to the Lego Ideas website, the idea creator is featured in set materials, receives a royalty on sales, and is recognized as the product creator.
Little used Lego Digital Designer to design his Golden Spike Lego set, he said, 100 percent on his own computer.
His creation is meant to replicate the Golden Spike Ceremony. The two locomotives are the Central Pacific Jupiter and the Union Pacific No. 119. The set has a total of 2,019 pieces.
“I have always been a big fan of American history of, a big fan of railroads, and a big fan of Lego,” Little said, “… they’ve always been big elements in my childhood; and I rediscovered a lot of those elements when my 2-year-old son was born.”
He picked the Golden Spike Ceremony, Little said, because he felt it was the most recognizable image that the American people would relate to.
“My primary goal with designing this Lego set is to see Lego sell a train set based around nonfictional, 19th Century American railroading,” Little said.
He hopes his creation will spark interest with the American people, he said, and especially the people of Utah.
“I feel that, based on the historical and visual appeal of this set, it will sell very well,” Little said, “especially in the United States or (to) anyone who is fond of the American Wild West.”
Little’s project is doing very well and is placed in the top 100 right now. To vote for his creation, “Golden Spike Ceremony 150th Anniversary,” go to Lego Ideas. Voting continues for another 443 days.
Golden Spike history
On May 10, 1869, the last link in the Transcontinental Railroad was met. The Union and Central Pacific Railroads joined their rails at Promontory Summit, Utah. The spike of gold began a dramatic transformation of the West. The 3,000-mile journey had previously taken months and now would only take days with the new rail.
Leland Stanford, president of the Central Pacific Railroad, was to be the one to drive the last spike into place; however, he missed the spike. Thomas C. Durant, vice president of the Union Pacific Railroad, tried swinging the silver hammer and also missed the spike. The two men agreed to have a regular rail worker drive the spike home.
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