In 1859, far ahead of its application in computing, engineer John W. Nystrom proposed that we adopt base 16 for arithmetic, timekeeping, weights and measures, coinage, and even music.
“It is evident that 12 is a better number than 10 or 100 as a base, but it admits of only one more binary division than 10, and would, therefore, not come up to the general requirement,” he wrote. “The number 16 admits binary division to an infinite extent, and would, therefore, be the most suitable number as a base for arithmetic, weight, measure, and coins.”
He named the 16 digits an, de, ti, go, su, by, ra, me, ni, ko, hu, vy, la, po, fy, and ton, and invented new numerals for the upper values. Numbers above this range would be named using these roots, so 17 in decimal would be tonan (“16 plus 1”) in Nystrom’s system. And he devised some wonderfully euphonious names for the higher powers:
Base 16 Number

Tonal Name

Base 10 Equivalent

10

ton

16

100

san

256

1000

mill

4,096

1,0000

bong

65,536

10,0000

tonbong

1,048,576

100,0000

sanbong

16,777,216

1000,0000

millbong

268,435,456

1,0000,0000

tam

4,294,967,296

1,0000,0000,0000

song

16^{12}

1,0000,0000,0000,0000

tran

16^{16}

1,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000

bongtran

16^{20}

So the hexadecimal number 1510,0000 would be millsusantonbong.
The system was never widely adopted, but Nystrom was confident in its rationality. “I know I have nature on my side,” he wrote. “If I do not succeed to impress upon you its utility and great importance to mankind, it will reflect that much less credit upon our generation, upon scientific men and philosophers.”
His book is here.