The question is an interesting one for me. I was not an amateur astronomer in my youth. But I first saw a telescope in 1953 when I was 5 years old. I have quite clear memories though I may have some of the facts wrong.
My father was an oceanographer and things were less formal back then. A Japanese scientist was visiting and he wanted to visit the 200 inch on Mt Palomar. Through his connections my father arranged for a visit and it was a family affair.
My recollection is the visiting scientist was named Dr. Takahashi but I might have that mixed up with another Japanese scientist who visited.
That was almost 70 years ago and the 200 inch was brand new. Since then, I've visited it many times. Today.. I think it qualifies as a Certified Cloudy Nights Classic.. it needs a plaque right there next to the bronze of Hale.
It's the first telescope I ever saw and it's still the biggest telescope I've ever seen.
That was my first classic that I saw. Took a day trip to the observatory back in the late 1980's to see it and walked away in awe.