Back in 1939 a refrigeration businessman in Paramount, California was looking at ways to increase revenues in a waning ice market. His response was to open one of the largest skating rinks in the country. Though the rink proved popular the issue of cleaning and laying a clean sheet of ice on the rink was a major feat, involving three to four employees scraping, squeegeeing and flooding the rink when needed.
Looking to increase efficiency, Frank J. Zamboni began prototyping a mechanical option that could assume the entire responsibility of cleaning and laying a sheet of ice. After ten years of work the final design for the Ice Resurfacer that would later become ubiquitous with indoor rinks the world over rolled onto the ice.
Unfortunately not every rink, specifically outdoor community rinks, can afford to buy and maintain something like a full fledged Zamboni. In light of that, I met and photographed a few different individuals for Swerve Magazine who are following in Frank’s foot steps and have designed ways to get a clean, smooth sheet of ice for everyone in their community.
Story by Tom Babin available online here.