Just another American success story about how far hard work and a little Thinking can take a person. This is the story of Frank Zamboni and his brother Lawrence and cousin Pete. For hockey fans the name Zamboni will probably be recognized for Frank invented the Zamboni Ice Resurfacing machine that is seen between periods at 25 National Hockey League arenas. Yesterday was the 65th anniversary of Frank’s filing for a patent for THE ZAMBONI. He built his first machines using Army surplus Jeep parts and that continued until 1965 when the HD series was the first to be produced not using surplus Jeep parts.
Moving to southern California from the family farm in Idaho, Frank and his brother opened an ice manufacturing plant in the 1930’s. Then as refrigeration started to lessen the demand for block ice, the brothers along with cousin Pete opened ICELAND, an ice skating rink in Paramount. The development of the ice rink saw several setbacks as did the creation of the ice-resurfacing machine. But with Frank’s inventiveness the road blocks were mere bumps in the road to a lifetime of success.
By his death in 1988, Frank held 15 patents. Besides four patents for ice-resurfacing equipment he patented the “Vault Carrier” to lift and carry cement burial vaults, “The Grasshopper”, which rolls up artificial turf, “The Black Widow” which fills in dirt on top of cemetery vaults and “Astro Zamboni” which vacuums water off of artificial turf.
Inventors have a history of never giving up, they Think, Then Think Again. Eventually getting it right. More than 10,000 Zambonis have been delivered to date and the ice-skating rink in Paramount California is nearing its 75th anniversary.
The people who made America great.
Here is a YouTube tribute to The Zamboni