From AstronomyOutreach network
John Lowry Dobson (b. September 14, 1915) is an iconic and legendary figure in astronomy outreach for the public as the co-founder of the amateur astronomical group, the San Francisco Sidewalk Astronomers, and for the Dobsonian telescope.
Dobsonian telescopes revolutionized amateur astronomy because his design of a low-cost, high performance mounting system for Newtonian reflecting telescopes made it possible for amateur astronomers to build or buy affordable telescopes of relatively large aperture. The telescopes that John Dobson built made from wood, cardboard concrete forms, and porthole glass that he ground into telescope mirrors, made it possible for people in the urban environment to see deep sky objects. And for many city dwellers, it was the first time in their lives to see nebulae and galaxies with their own eyes through a telescope.