An idea that would
CHANGE THE WORLD



It was the late ’40s when Ed Malzahn, a recent graduate of Oklahoma A&M College (Oklahoma State University), had an idea that would change the world. He noticed the equipment used to install major utility lines could not be used for smaller residential service lines. Instead, workmen had to lay these lines by hand, slowly digging out trenches with picks and shovels. Ed set out to change this, and in 1949 launched an entire industry with his first mechanical trenching machine, the Ditch Witch® Model DWP Service Line Trencher. The small machine shop he operated with his father was reborn as Charles Machine Works, and has since produced and sold more than half of the world’s trenching machines.



TWICE HONORED


1 OF 100 BEST PRODUCTS MANUFACTURED IN THE UNITED STATES

Ed will forever be remembered for his groundbreaking idea. In 2002, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers designated his DWP a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark. Fortune magazine has twice honored the trencher as one of the 100 best products manufactured in the United States. Ed’s legacy, however, reaches far beyond that first breakthrough design.

His contributions as an inventor, business owner and manager have changed the way the world’s utility infrastructure is constructed and maintained. The company he built now employs more than 1,500 people and provides products in 195 countries. His efforts as a civic leader and philanthropist have included volunteer service on numerous organizations and boards at the local, state, and national level.

Needs of the local community and its citizens were always a priority, and countless institutions and individuals have benefitted from the generosity of Ed, the Malzahn family and the Ditch Witch organization.

His contributions as an inventor, business owner and manager have changed the way the world’s utility infrastructure is constructed and maintained. The company he built now employs more than 1,500 people and provides products in 195 countries. His efforts as a civic leader and philanthropist have included volunteer service on numerous organizations and boards at the local, state, and national level. Needs of the local community and its citizens were always a priority, and countless institutions and individuals have benefitted from the generosity of Ed, the Malzahn family and the Ditch Witch organization.

Ed possessed a sharp mind, a strong rural work ethic, and a generous spirit—all of which he used to better those around him. His accomplishments impacted millions worldwide, but his influence as a leader and family man to those who knew him personally will forever be his greatest legacy.

GUS EDWIN GEORGE MALZAHN




BORN

July 3, 1921 - Perry, OK


EDUCATION

Perry High School
Perry, OK

Wentworth Military Academy
Lexington, MO

Oklahoma A&M College (Oklahoma State University)
Stillwater, OK
Registered Professional Engineer


DEGREE

Bachelor of Science,
Mechanical Engineering

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Nation’s Outstanding Small Businessman Award

Outstanding Citizen Award - Perry, OK

Oklahoma Ambassadors Corporation

Oklahoma’s Outstanding Engineer in Management

Oklahoma State University Alumnus Award

Wonders in Engineering Awards from the Oklahoma Society of Professional Engineers

Named One of the 100 Most Significant Contributors to the Mechanization and Productivity in Construction During the Previous 100 Years by the Equipment Manufacturers Institute

National Employer Support Freedom Award (Received at the Pentagon)

1998 Inventor of the Year by the Oklahoma Bar Association

Inducted into the Construction Equipment Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, Oklahoma State University (OSU) Hall of Fame, OSU Engineering Hall of Fame, American Rental Association Hall of Fame, North American Society of Trenchless Technology Hall of Fame, Power & Communication Contractors Association Hall of Fame.

Presidential “E” Award, U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Recognition for Selling Products into Foreign Markets

Leadership Oklahoma’s Lifetime Achievement Award

Executive of the Year, Arkansas-Oklahoma Division of International Association of Administrative Professionals®

Named One of the 125 Most Influential People in Construction (Engineering News Record magazine)

Cited as One of Ten Oklahomans who have shaped the history of Oklahoma by facing opportunities and challenges presented in the 20th century (The Daily Oklahoman,, Dec. 30, 1999)





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