Frank Zamboni was born in 1901, in Eureka, Utah. At the age of twenty-one, Zamboni moved to California and worked as a mechanic at his brother’s auto repair garage. However, a family business was soon established – a factory to produce block ice. In 1939, another family enterprise the Iceland Skating Rink in Paramount, California was built. The Iceland rink was 20,000 square feet of ice, one of the largest rinks in the United States. Zamboni was now learning firsthand the business of ice and rink management.
Model A Zamboni Ice Resurfacer
In 1949, Frank Zamboni patented the “Model A Zamboni Ice Resurfacer”. Beginning in 1942, Zamboni had started working on a machine that would quickly renew the surface of an ice rink, removing the nicks and gauges caused by skaters etc.
Previously to prepare an ice rink, several workers had to scrape the ice surface with tractors, shovel away the scraped ice, hose the rink with water, and then wait for the fresh water to freexe which took time.
Zamboni built a machine that did it all. He modified a tractor adding a blade that shaved the ice smooth; and a device that swept up the shavings into a tank; and an apparatus that rinsed the ice and left a very thin top layer of water that would freeze within a minute.