Frank Zamboni (1901-1988)

Frank Joseph Zamboni, Jr. (January 16, 1901 – July 27, 1988) was an American inventor, whose most famous invention is the modern ice resurfacer, with his surname being registered as a trademark for these resurfacers.

Zamboni was born in 1901 in Eureka, Utah, to Italian immigrants. His parents soon bought a farm in Lava Hot Springs near Pocatello, Idaho, where he grew up. In 1920, he moved with his parents to the harbor district of Los Angeles, where his older brother George was operating an auto repair shop. After Frank attended a trade school in Chicago, he and his younger brother Lawrence opened an electrical supply business in 1922 in the Los Angeles suburb of Hynes (now part of Paramount). The following year he married and eventually had three children, a son and two daughters.

In 1927, he and Lawrence added 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 advent of electrically operated refrigeration units. They decided to use their excess refrigeration equipment to open an ice rink nearby.

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