In 1902, Carl Frederick Malzahn, a German immigrant seeking refuge from the harsh Minnesota winters, moved his family to Perry, Oklahoma, and opened Malzahn Blacksmith Shop with his sons Charlie and Gus. In 1913, the sons took over the business and renamed it Malzahn Brothers General Blacksmith Shop.
The business prospered, and a few years later, when the oil boom began, it began to specialize in repairing equipment for nearby oil fields. After Gus died in 1928, Charlie renamed the business Charlie's Workshop. In 1944, Charlie convinced his son Edwin "Ed" Malzahn (July 3, 1921 - December 11, 2015), a mechanical engineer educated at Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State University), to join the business.