Hockey revolution: how the resource face was invented

In 1927, the brothers decided to switch to the “ice” business - they began to make blocks of ice for local dealers in fruits and vegetables. However, in the mid-1930s, it became clear that this business has no future - more and more merchants acquired refrigerators. In 1939, the brothers sold their business, but left the refrigeration equipment - they came up with a new idea. Opposite their former factory, in January 1940, they opened the Iceland ice rink: the 30 x 60 m arena accommodated 800 skaters and was one of the largest in the country (in the same year, a dome was erected above it to protect from the sun). Frank developed and patented an original design that made it possible to get perfectly even ice without “ripples” from cooling pipes passing under the floor. The skating rink became very popular, but every day at least an hour and a half were spent, from Frank's point of view, completely unproductive. Three people smoothed the surface with scrapers, washed off the ice crumb from the hose, removed dirty water with rubber mops, and then sprayed clean water to get smooth ice.

Zamboni ice-filling machines - an indispensable attribute of hockey competitions, performances of skaters and skaters

To speed up the process, in 1942, Frank bought a Ford-Ferguson tractor. At first it was intended only for leveling the surface, but Frank began to experiment with this machine. The first attempts were unsuccessful, and he postponed this idea, returning to it only in 1947. After several prototypes in 1948, Model A was released, which made it possible to combine all of the above operations. This made it possible for one person to clean the surface of the rink in just 10 minutes! In May 1949, the inventor filed a patent application, and the next he founded a family company, which he proposed to name Paramount Engineering Co. The name was taken, and the inventor, without thinking twice, gave the company its own name - Frank J. Zamboni & Co.

The first car (Model B) Zamboni made for the rink in Pasadena. The second for her performances was bought by the three-time Olympic champion in figure skating, the star of the ballet on ice and film actress Sonia Heni. The quality of ice and the speed of the machine made Sonia so impressed that she bought the next car. Her touring tour served as a great ad campaign for Frank Zamboni's cars. Since its founding, the company has sold more than 7, 000 of its ice-filling machines. And although many companies produce such devices, the name "Zamboni" has long been a household name among athletes and fans.

The article “Lord of the Ice Fields” was published in the journal Popular Mechanics (No. 8, August 2009).


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