The machine that cleans the ice during hockey games is called a Zamboni in honor of its inventor, Frank J. Zamboni. The name officially applies only to ice resurfacing machines made by Zamboni Company, but fans typically refer to the machine as a Zamboni regardless of manufacturer.
Frank Zamboni introduced his ice resurfacing machine in 1949 after years of experimentation. Cleaning the ice previously required a tractor, a scraper and a full hour of labor by three or four people. Improved models have followed.
As of 2015, Zamboni Company and its competitor Resurfice Corporation both make approximately the same number of ice resurfacing machines. Resurfice marketing director Don Schlupp told the "New York Times" that fans refer to his company's machines as Zambonis and compared the name to Kleenex.