Frank Zamboni, the man who invented the hypnotic Zamboni ice resurfacing machine, was honored Wednesday with a playable Google Doodle. It would have been his 112th birthday.
Zamboni invented his ice-resurfacing machine back in the 1940s, after opening up an indoor ice skating rink with his brother in Southern California. Frustrated that it took five men an hour and a half to lay down a new sheet of ice at the end of the day, Zamboni envisioned a machine that could do it for them.
It took him eight years to build it, but by 1947 he had an awkward contraption that sat on two old Dodge front ends, and was powered by a jeep engine. It took just 15 minutes for the machine to resurface the ice, wash the surface and lay down a coat of fresh hot water that was spread by a towel.
The 1988 L.A. Times obituary of Zamboni said his strange ice resurfacer may never have moved beyond his ice rink if it hadn't been for the skating star Sonja Henie. After visiting Zamboni's rink, she wondered if he could make more ice resurfacing machines. Then the Chicago Stadium wanted one for the Black Hawks hockey team, and Zamboni's invention started to take off.
Google's game that honors the inventor is simple, but addictive.
Little bundled up cartoon characters come gliding out of a hole at the top of the screen, scuffing up the ice on the rink with their skates. When they are finished ruining the ice, it is your job to direct the Zamboni over the rink, making everything nice and shiny once again.
PLAY THE GAME HERE!!