Ditch Witch inventor Gus Edwin “Ed” George Malzahn died Friday at the age of 94, reports The Oklahoman.
After receiving a degree in mechanical engineering from Oklahoma A&M, Malzahn began Perry-based The Charles Machine Works Inc.
The company eventually developed the Ditch Witch trench digger which sped up and transformed the trenching industry.
Under Malzahn's leadership, the company later developed a horizontal drilling bore that allowed the company to install pipes and cable under existing roads, ponds and other obstacles.
Malzahn was in the first class of the Construction Equipment Hall of Fame, created by Construction Equipment in 1993 and now owned and operated by AEM.
Besides the Ditch Witch Trencher, the company also develops and manufactures a variety of related equipment, including vibratory plows, pneumatic piercing tools, backhoes, electronic guidance and locating tools and drill pipe.