Zamboni Ice Resurfacer Patent Art, Zamboni, 1953
INVENTOR: Frank Zamboni
In 1927, Zamboni and his brother Lawrence opened an ice-making plant and entered the block ice business. They continued their ice business in 1939 but saw little future in that business with the recent advent of electrically operated refrigeration units. They decided to use their excess refrigeration equipment to open an ice rink nearby. In 1940, the brothers, along with a cousin, opened the Iceland rink, which proved very popular, in no small part because Frank had devised a way to eliminate rippling caused by the pipes that were laid down to keep the rink frozen. (The rink still operates and is still owned by the Zamboni family.) He obtained a patent for that innovation in 1946. Then, in 1949, he invented a machine that transformed the job of resurfacing an ice rink from a three-man, 90-minute task to a one-man, 10-minute job. He applied for a patent that same year and set up Frank J. Zamboni & Co. in Paramount, CA to build and sell the machines. Though the term Zamboni was (and remains) trademarked by his company, the name is sometimes improperly used for any brand of ice resurfacing machine.
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