President / The Charles Machine Works / 1921 - 2015 / Inducted 1993
During the war, construction projects stalled, except for those with military significance. However, when the war was over, the demand for housing, manufacturing, and services boomed. It was then that Edwin Malzahn, a recent engineering graduate working in the family's machine shop, saw an opportunity for a small trencher to do service line work.
In 1949, Edwin Malzahn designed and introduced the first compact trencher - called Ditch Witch - featuring planetary gear reduction. His innovation, which pioneered the handlebar trencher business, made powered trenching technology available to small and large-sized users alike. The Ditch Witch made possible wide-scale underground placement of utility lines.