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Thursday, May 27, 2021

Oot & aboot

 It's time for another episode of Oot & aboot. As a special bonus, there will also be a history lesson of sorts.

91/92 ProSet # 339

In the early days of hockey, the ice had to be shovelled manually or scraped by a tractor with with a large blade. Some used a wheelbarrow, hoses and squeegees to flood the ice surface. Others made their own contraptions to water the ice. This was a very time consuming process. Frank Zamboni owned a skating rink and the length of time to resurface would cut into their profits.

90/91 Upper Deck # 549

With a background in refrigeration and cooling, he set about to build a better mouse trap. His first prototype was a tractor towing a machine which attempted to sweep the ice shavings. Unfortunately, it proved unreliable. He tinkered with this from 1942 to 1947 but could not come up with anything to suit his needs. He then started with a new blueprint, to combine the tractor and trailer into one machine. A few more years of modifying the machine ensued, and in 1949, he had built the Zamboni ice resurfacer which is pretty much what is in use today. It made its NHL debut on March 10 1955 in Montreal.

Here's a view of the Zamboni plant in Brantford. However, there are no guided tours.

 05/06 Upper Deck Toronto Maple Leaf Zamboni with Vesa Toskala card.

This is another one of those hockey related items available here in Brantford.


  1. It would be so cool to track down a signed copy of that Upper Deck card, but it looks like Mr. Zamboni passed away a few years before that card was created.

    1. I've often wondered if autograph set collectors get this signed by his son or grandson or leave it blank

  2. Not being a hockey guy, this was all new to me. Pretty interesting though!

  3. This is interesting. It is too bad that this nonprimitive mechanism they call the Zamboni is something they do not want to teach anyone about its inventor on the nonprimitive mechanical television instead of relegating this to the internet. And of course, just like a refrigerator keeps ice frozen that is what they do in ice skating rinks that are also ice hockey rinks.

  4. There was not given here much detailed history here about Mr. Zamboni where he was born and where he invented this nonprimitive mechanism to smooth frozen water called ice.