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John Dobson said...

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#1 Adun

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 04:18 PM

I've finally tracked the source of this quote:
 

see: the importance of a telescope is not how big it is, it's not how well made it is, it's how many people less fortunate than you got to look through it

 
It's from this video, at 8m27s (the link goes straight to that part)
 
It's very inspiring.


Edited by Adun, 15 May 2018 - 09:11 PM.

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#2 ShaulaB

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 04:38 PM

Amen.


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#3 PETER DREW

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 04:47 PM

Says it all.
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#4 junomike

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 04:55 PM

+1waytogo.gif


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#5 NiteGuy

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 05:11 PM

John was a very profound person. Quotes aside, I'm forever grateful because he expanded my entire personal observing universe every time I got the chance to view through one of his BIG scopes. John most certainly would have been unique in any day and age.


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#6 michael_m

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 06:00 PM

His influence on amateur astronomy is immeasurable. The "Dobsonian Telescope" is still evolving, and perhaps will continue to do so for a very long time. In the spirit of his quote, to this day the biggest kick I get is not when I myself find and see a new distant galaxy, it's when others look through my Dob and say..."Wow!" Especially children.
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#7 nicoledoula

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 06:52 PM

If you want to sell telescopes.......the "less fortunate" can afford Dobsonians. (best bang for the buck) However, can they afford the EP's to go with it? John made scopes cheap, and his buddy Al made EP's expensive. I can almost guarantee John  D. owns plenty of TV stock. There are no heroes. Though sometimes businessmen make everyone happy 



#8 kfiscus

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 09:11 PM

If you want to sell telescopes.......the "less fortunate" can afford Dobsonians. (best bang for the buck) However, can they afford the EP's to go with it? John made scopes cheap, and his buddy Al made EP's expensive. I can almost guarantee John  D. owns plenty of TV stock. There are no heroes. Though sometimes businessmen make everyone happy 

???

John Dobson is dead and lived a life of very modest means.  I don't see him as ever owning much stock.


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#9 Adun

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 09:20 PM

If you want to sell telescopes.......the "less fortunate" can afford Dobsonians. (best bang for the buck) 

 

Dobsonians were not bought. They were made. Home made. It took decades for mass produced commercial dobsonians to be affordable.

 

 

I can almost guarantee John  D. owns plenty of TV stock. 

 

In this day and age everybody can "almost guarantee" anything. And yet doesn't make it true.


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#10 Augustus

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 09:32 PM

If you want to sell telescopes.......the "less fortunate" can afford Dobsonians. (best bang for the buck) However, can they afford the EP's to go with it? John made scopes cheap, and his buddy Al made EP's expensive. I can almost guarantee John  D. owns plenty of TV stock. There are no heroes. Though sometimes businessmen make everyone happy 

Are you actually kidding me?

 

Dobson never wanted to commercialize the Dobsonian. He hated it when people referred to it as a Dobsonian. He didn't even have his own house and lived with very modest accoutrements for most of his life.

 

Also, you can use a Dob without expensive eyepieces......... he did.........


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#11 NiteGuy

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 02:30 AM

If you want to sell telescopes.......the "less fortunate" can afford Dobsonians. (best bang for the buck) However, can they afford the EP's to go with it? John made scopes cheap, and his buddy Al made EP's expensive. I can almost guarantee John  D. owns plenty of TV stock. There are no heroes. Though sometimes businessmen make everyone happy 

John Dobson never used anything but eyepieces cannibalized from old WWII binoculars. If anyone (including Al Nagler) ever gave him a brand new Nagler eyepiece, John probably would have turned around and sold it the next day to buy a bunch of mirror grinding kits for kids.


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#12 jtsenghas

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 07:10 PM

I enjoy the documented instances of John Dobson's dry wit and humility.

 

Another of his quotes I enjoyed regarding mirror making was "If you drop a mirror, be sure to do it early." 


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#13 Alex McConahay

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 11:41 AM

If you want to sell telescopes.......the "less fortunate" can afford Dobsonians. (best bang for the buck) However, can they afford the EP's to go with it? John made scopes cheap, and his buddy Al made EP's expensive. I can almost guarantee John  D. owns plenty of TV stock. There are no heroes. Though sometimes businessmen make everyone happy 

Spoken like somebody who has no idea of John Dobson. Never met him. Never heard of his character (I do not mean intestinal fortitude, but just what kind of a character he was). And somebody who is very, very unaware of what many people in the world are like. 

 

Nicoledoula, you would have been a better person, I think, had you spent some time with John Dobson. 

 

You also apparently have never spent an evening at a telescope with Al Nagler. A very sweet gentleman. (I remember him commenting on a telescope we were looking at, an early Genesis, and him mentioning that it was shipped from his and his wife's kitchen table in the early days of Televue. He was nostalgic about the early days of making telescopes.  Nice story about a guy and his wife feeding the family.) 

 

You really need to think it through a bit more. 

 

Alex


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#14 stevie44

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 01:20 PM

If you want to sell telescopes.......the "less fortunate" can afford Dobsonians. (best bang for the buck) However, can they afford the EP's to go with it? John made scopes cheap, and his buddy Al made EP's expensive. I can almost guarantee John  D. owns plenty of TV stock. There are no heroes. Though sometimes businessmen make everyone happy 

Rather than criticize others who I don't know, I choose to ask myself what contribution am I personally making.  Always a better bet, in my experience.

 

From all I've read about John Dobson, it's clear money was not important to him.  People were.  The heavens were.  Teaching people to build large telescopes from scratch and on a small budget was important to him.  His goal was to make observing possible for as many people as possible.  He lived a simple, unassuming life and died in 2014 at the age of 98.  His was the wisdom of a man who knows that a pile of money wouldn't make him or anyone else happy.  He was a pioneer, and genuine pioneers are motivated by an idea, not by cash flow.  

 

There are indeed heroes.  I've been fortunate enough to know a few of them.  One of those was a good friend of mine who made several substantial discoveries as an amateur astronomer.  One of the most wonderful human beings I've known.  I knew him well enough to know that money played absolutely no part in his motivation.  And it so happens he knew John Dobson.


Edited by stevie44, 20 May 2018 - 01:37 PM.

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#15 eklf

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 10:40 AM

John made scopes cheap, and his buddy Al made EP's expensive. 

Al did not make Ep's expensive.  He improved performance of wide-field eyepieces, twhich got translated into "his" eyepieces costing more.  But that did not result in an across-the-board increase in costs of all eyepieces of all makes.


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#16 eklf

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 10:42 AM

 I can almost guarantee John  D. owns plenty of TV stock. 

John D.  could'nt own any TV stock even if he wanted to.  TV is a privately-held company.


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#17 Augustus

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 10:43 AM

TV is a privately-held company.

As is almost every other astro-equipment manufacturer except for Meade in the mid-2000s.


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#18 Stopforths

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 08:56 PM

Spoken like somebody who has no idea of John Dobson. Never met him. Never heard of his character (I do not mean intestinal fortitude, but just what kind of a character he was). And somebody who is very, very unaware of what many people in the world are like. 

 

Nicoledoula, you would have been a better person, I think, had you spent some time with John Dobson. 

 

You also apparently have never spent an evening at a telescope with Al Nagler. A very sweet gentleman. (I remember him commenting on a telescope we were looking at, an early Genesis, and him mentioning that it was shipped from his and his wife's kitchen table in the early days of Televue. He was nostalgic about the early days of making telescopes.  Nice story about a guy and his wife feeding the family.) 

 

You really need to think it through a bit more. 

 

Alex

I met him when he came to New Zealand aged around 90 at the time.  He stayed with  the reverend Ian Crumpton who was the president at the time of our local astronomical society.  He spoke to our group not about telescope making but about his theory about the universe which I found a little difficult to understand at the time.   We took him star gazing at our local observatory and he looked though a truss dobsonian telescope with a 13 inch mirror and was very impressed with it.

 

I was a keen telescope maker back then inspired by John and had built this scope including the mirror so was honored he liked it and especially the optics.  We looked at Omega Centaurus eta carina all the usual southern highlights. I recall it was a good night and we spent an hour or 2 observing.  He really loved observing and the energy he had was  remarkable for his age.  I recall thinking his eyes were good for his age when we went after some faint galaxies and he could see them no problem. 

 

He had a sense of humor to be sure and was a humble friendly character he looked like an elderly Catholic brother to me.  He left his mark with us in New Zealand can't remember how he got to come over to see us down here but it was memorable for me anyway. 


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