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The History of the Zamboni

Frank J. Zamboni and his brother opened a large ice rink in California in 1940 after refrigeration made their previous business obsolete. At the time, the process of resurfacing the ice was long and arduous. So Zamboni set to work trying to make it easier. After years of working on the problem, he developed a self-contained vehicle that shaved and washed the ice before creating a smooth new layer. In 1949, he debuted the Model A Zamboni Ice Resurfacer. In the following years, he made various improvements to his design. On January 1, 1954, Bob Skrak, an acquaintance of Zamboni, used a Zamboni Model E to resurface the ice at Boston Garden between the Ice Capades and a subsequent Boston Bruins hockey game. The Bruins’ management was so impressed that they purchased their own Zamboni Model E 21 machine, which became the first to be used by an NHL team. Since then, multiple improvements have been made to the machine, but its basic design remains the same. Other companies also make ice resurfacing machines, but the Zamboni remains the most famous and widely used today.

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