Malzahn, Edwin (Ed) | 1985
- Birth and Death Year | 1921-2015
- Induction Year | 1985
- Profession | Entrepreneur
- Oklahoma Connection | Malzahn was born in Perry, Oklahoma.
- Hometown | Perry
Ed Malzahn’s grandfather, Carl, settled in Perry in 1902 and opened the blacksmith shop that eventually became The Charles Machine Works, Inc. Ed’s father, Charles, was watching a large trencher used for digging water mains as it sat idly by while laborers dug by hand a service line to a nearby house. Charles and his son Ed began building a trencher that would do the same work in 1949.
“The pioneer spirit is something shared by both Ditch Witch and the State of Oklahoma…” - Edwin Malzahn
Oklahoma native Edwin Malzahn grew up around his family’s blacksmith, welding, and machine shop in Perry, attended Wentworth Military Academy in Missouri and obtained his B.S. and M.E. from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. He began working for his family’s firm in 1944 and became the president and general manager of Charles Machine Works as the company’s machines were marketed to a worldwide audience. He has served many organizations, including the board of Farm and Industrial & Industrial Equipment Institute (1977), Perry Chamber of Commerce, Director of Oklahoma Department of Commerce and Industry (1963-1965), and the Oklahoma Industrial Development and Parks Commission. Malzahn was named to the OSU Engineering Hall of Fame in 1966 and was named Perry’s Outstanding Citizen in 1965. Forbes Magazine named Ditch Witch trenchers among the “100 Products America Makes Best” in 1988 and 1991.