Henry Behrens was said to be the smallest man in the world during the 1940’s- 50’s. The Guinness book of world records did not exist yet, but Henry was still quite the site to see. He was 30 inches tall and weighed a whopping 32 pounds. His small stature earned him a position in Burton Lester’s Midget Troupe, making a living by embracing his tiny size.
A Midget Mystery
In 1951, a man by the name, Jack Fullford of Worthing was crowned the smallest man in the world. A newspaper article by Argus was wrote decades later about Jack and what happened next was a real puzzler.
A viewer sent in a newspaper clipping dating back to 1956 with the name Henry Behrens. With the same measurements, it was determined that Jack Fullford and Henry Behrens were the same man. A midget leading a double life, or at least a midget with multiple identities. To this day, Henry/ Jack’s need for 2 names remains an enigma.
Henry Behrens Moving to a Neighborhood Near You
Henry was born in Brazil but traveled all around the world while a member of Burton Lester’s Midget Troupe. He was accompanied on all of his travels by his wife, Emmie. Behrens must have been into taller woman because she came in at a staggering 10 inches taller. Barely 3 feet tall at 40 inches, Emmie also understood the struggles of midget life. Together they bonded over their similar situations and faced obstacles head on as a team.
Eventually the happy couple decided to settle down. After making their living on being small they settled for a normal size house in Worthing, England. Margaret Shaw was a neighbor of Henry and Emmie and still remembers the day they moved in. She said: “We were intrigued to see tiny little chairs and furniture being unloaded from the removal van. We assumed a family with children were to be our new neighbors. Little did she know a middle age couple was going to be the people sharing her neighborhood.
She was also stunned to see the size or lack thereof, of Henry’s shoes. “I always remember seeing the very small pairs of white canvas shoes drying in the sun on the garden wall. I could hardly believe they belonged to a man with feet smaller than my four-year-old daughter.”
While living in Worthing, many photographs were taken of Henry. His small size next to normal everyday things led to comical imagery through drastic comparison. Some of these images included Henry dancing with a cat on his hind legs and standing next to an English officer. These photos have lasted the years and still evoke wonder.