A particularly ingenious but simple idea is the Dobsonian mount. The idea behind this invention was to put as large as possible s telescope onto a very inexpensive mount. This goal was actually achieved.
How does a Dobsonian mount work?
A Newtonian telescope sits on a wooden box which allows it to move freely in azimuth (horizontally) and in altitude (vertically). The construction of the box is really quite simple: it consists of only a few parts that are assembled rather like an Ikea flat pack. To ensure ease of movement, the telescope and box are connected via sliding and rotating bearings. This allows the telescope to be moved in any direction with very little effort.
20 years ago and even earlier, large telescopes could be acquired for unbeatably low prices. A Dobsonian is also more easily transportable than virtually any other instrument.
Of course there are not only advantages but also disadvantages with this type of telescope mount design, as with as any other design. Astrophotography is not possible with a Dobsonian telescope. Also at very high magnifications, for example when planetary observing, it is quite difficult to keep the object in the field of view. However, there are ‘Dobsonnauts’ who have found the optimal technique for high-magnification planetary observing.
These telescopes polarise the preferences of the amateur astronomy community.