Back in December of 2018, I found some 4-bit counter ICs in my school's student run MakerSpace. I bread-boarded these, using LEDs to visualize the outputs. Initially I used an Arduino as a clock. Once I verified that, I used a 555 timer to generate the clock, removing the need for an MCU.
Included are some images, which are limited in quantity and quality because I wasn't good about logging this project (as you can probably guess by the date of this post).