One of the simplest types of gutter is the gutter made from two lengths of wood nailed together in a V shape. They are referred to as a V shaped gutter or trough.
I don't know when this style of gutter was first used but I noticed these types of gutters on very old historical houses. They usually don't have any downspouts and just simply drain out on each end. These types of gutters are made extra long so the water empties out away from the house. It really is ingenious in it's simplicity.
This is a picture of the back of the old wayside mill in Sudbury.
This is a picture of Paul Revere's house in Boston. It has the old V style wood gutter but this one has downspouts too.
These wooden gutters cannot have trees hanging over them because they will clog up and begine to rot. When I was looking at some old black and white photos, I noticed most homes in these pictures had very little trees near or over the house. This is in stark contrast to today where most houses are surrounded by trees.
The V shaped trough has long been replaced by other types of gutters. However, there seems to be a resurgence of people online wanting to build their own. I have also read about people wanting to recreate this old gutter with new never-rot materials.
Who knows? Maybe the v shaped gutter will become popular again and be sold at your local Home Depot.