Frank Zamboni

Frank Zamboni had a natural talent for invention, which eventually led to the creation of the Zamboni ice resurfacer. As his son, Richard Zamboni said, "He never saw mechanical challenges as a place to stop; they were a beginning point. He always seemed to be thinking about the machines and never really sat back and felt that the product was the best it could be. He knew that there had to be a way to continually improve and worked on it day in and day out." When Frank, his brother Lawrence and their cousin Pete decided to use refrigeration equipment to build an ice rink in Southern California, Frank began to apply his innovative thinking and he soon realized that manually resurfacing the ice was labor and time intensive and he set out to find a more efficient process. After almost a decade of testing various concepts, Frank introduced the Model A – the world’s first self- propelled ice resurfacing machine.

Because of the record breaking performances in the 1960 Squaw Valley Olympic Games, operators of large ice skating tracks in Europe and Japan became aware of the ice resurfacer’s capabilities. Now, six decades after the first machine took to the ice, over 9,500 have been delivered and the machine has had a significant impact on ice sports in arenas around the world.  Frank’s continued contribution to the sport included a “one of a kind” machine, his Model L that was built for the 400 meter outdoor track in West Allis, Wisconsin and his design continues to provide outstanding surfaces for the nation and the world’s speed skating athletes. Frank was quite active in and even helped to found organizations which supported a variety of ice sports. Frank was a founding member of the Ice Skating Institute (ISI) and he was an active member in a number of ice industry and arena management organizations. Frank passed away on July 27, 1988. He was inducted to the National Speedskating Hall of Fame on May 18, 2013 in Salt Lake City, UT.