Accidentally Historic

Council Bluffs' Tiniest Couple

Episode Summary

The Little People of Council Bluffs had talents quite disproportionate to their stature. They were skilled vaudevillians, a top notch sales team for Woodward Candy, operated the candy department at Beno's Department Store, sold real estate, and left an impressive sum of money to the city of Council Bluffs. This podcast looks at how the Jean and Inez Bregant met, their entertainment career, how "little people" were used in advertising at that time, the Woodward Candy Factory and their custom made home.

Episode Notes

John G. Woodward wasn't the first to use little people in advertising, but may well have contributed to what became a popular trend for the next couple of decades.  Buster Brown shoes had adopted a comic strip character as their advertising image a few years earlier and hired little people to play Buster in tours around the country.  This came at the time when the trend was to introduce novelty into advertising to attract consumer attention in what was becoming the highly competitive world of marketing.  Woodward's approach was different in that the company treated the Bregants with respect.  What the company called "the lightest weight and best proportioned couple in the world" were photographed in adult poses and portrayed as sophisticated, unlike Little Oscar the Chef of the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile or Sunshine Bakers promoting "the cutest midgets you ever saw." 

The Bregant's custom-made home was restored by Preserve Council Bluffs and is open for tours.  Find more information about the house: