Google is celebrating the 112th birthday of Frank Zamboni, creator of the world’s first self-propelled ice-resurfacing machine, by giving the late inventor his very own Doodle on the search engine’s homepage.
The tribute is not only an adorable Doodle image but also a delightfully interactive Zamboni game. Visitors to the Google homepage on Wednesday will find the image of an ice rink with several cute animations skating across the surface. Following behind the skating girls, hockey players, and a curious polar bear, you will find a Zamboni driver working hard to smooth their icy tracks.
The Christian Science Monitor writes that, by clicking the Doodle image, guests will be launched into an interactive Zamboni game. The player’s goal is to manipulate the Zamboni machine to effectively remove scratches and marks across the rink’s floor before running out of fuel.
The son of Italian immigrants, Frank Zamboni was born in Utah in 1901. Following his family’s relocation to Los Angeles, he worked alongside his older brother in an auto repair store before joining forces with a younger sibling to open an electrical supply company.
An article by The Guardian writes that Zamboni and his younger brother went on to start an ice-making business in 1927. The venture led them to open an ice rink shortly before the United States entered into World War II.
Zamboni’s experience in the ice industry spurred him to invent an effective method for smoothing the frequent rippling on the surface of the rink. The removal of ice flaws typically required the work of 3 employees for a 90 minute period of time. The invention of the Zamboni machine reduced that effort to one employee working for 10 minutes to produce the same results.
The Zamboni machine received patent in 1953, and, by the end of the following decade, it was being purchased by ice rinks and National Football League franchises throughout the United States. Popularity for the Zamboni has continued to grow, and the company’s signature Zamboni Ice Resurfacer has generated over 10,000 sales to date.
The creator of the famed Zamboni machine passed away from cancer in 1988 at the age of 87. Today’s Google Doodle celebrates what would be Frank Zamboni’s 112th birthday.