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Remembering Frank Zamboni, the original 'Iceman' (+video)

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Later, after a stint at Coyne Trade School in Chicago, Frank and a third brother, Lawrence, went into business under the aegis of Service Electric, later known as the Zamboni Bros. Company. Lawrence and Frank did mostly electrical and drilling work, but they also found time to construct an ice-making plant, and sell big blocks of ice to nearby produce packing plants.

In 1940, Frank Zamboni, now a family man – he'd married Norda Ileta Chamberlain in 1923, and together he and Norda had three children – helped open an indoor rink called Iceland, in Paramount, Calif. At the time, indoor ice skating was growing in popularity, and Iceland was a success, but there was a major problem: it was hard to keep the ice clean and fresh. 

From the 1988 Los Angeles Times obituary for Zamboni: 

It took five men 90 minutes each night to lay down a new sheet of ice. [Frank] Zamboni devoted the next eight years to replacing those five men and, when he did, it was with a machine only its mother could love. The awkward Model A Ice Resurfacer No. 1 sat on two old Dodge front ends and was powered by a war surplus jeep engine. A wooden bin caught the ice shavings. Despite its appearance, it resurfaced the ice in 15 minutes after scraping it, gathering up the shavings, washing the surface and then laying down a coat of fresh hot water that was spread by a towel.

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