Thursday Morning – Smooth Skating Ahead
I have to admit that I missed it yesterday. One of our readers good-naturedly reminded me that the 16th of January is Frank Zamboni's birthday and he would have been 122 yrs. old. If I had known that, I could have been wearing my Zamboni belt buckle all day, but to be honest with you I have never been aware of his birth date before. And unless you are either a hockey fan or a recreational ice skater, you likely have never been aware of who Frank Zamboni is, either. He is the inventor of the ice cleaning machine that is used to resurface ice skating rinks world-wide.
The son of Italian immigrants was born in Utah in 1901, grew up in Idaho, and moved to southern California to join his older brother after he grew into adulthood. Frank and his younger brother bought an ice-making plant and built a successful business. But with the advent of the home refrigerator chipping away at his business of selling blocks of ice, he built an indoor ice rink next door to the plant in order to keep his equipment running and profitable.
Frustrated by the excessive and wasteful time and manpower required to clean and resurface the rink periodically, Frank set out to invent a machine that would get the job done more quickly and with just one man instead of the five it was taking previously. Using the chassis and engine of an old Army Jeep, he built his motorized resurfacer and received a patent for it in 1953. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Frank was quite the inventor and was still creating machines and devices up until his death in 1988. The skating rink now known as Paramount Iceland is still operating and remains under ownership of the Zamboni family. You can read a more detailed biography of Frank Zamboni in Wikipedia HERE.
Unfortunately, the Zamboni firm doesn't sell those gorgeous bronze belt-buckles anymore, so I'll have to take good care of mine. But… they still sell about 45 or 50 other souvenir products including T-shirts, caps and all sorts of stuff through their WEBSITE HERE.
Okay, it's time to get our own equipment checked out now, so let's get buckled up and start in on that. I'll skate over to the Bunn-O-Matic and get my favorite morning chore done before we meet back in the day room. See you there.
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A Brief Video History of the Zamboni Machine
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