1. The leg lamp did not exist before the movie’s author (and narrator) Jean Shepherd dreamt it up for his short story My Old Man and the Lascivious Special Award That Heralded the Birth of Pop Art (First published in 1966).
2. The author imagined a soda pop company had unwittingly given birth to the “pop art” movement. He came up with the idea of a leg-shaped lamp after seeing a Nehi Cola ad featuring a woman’s stocking-clad leg.
3. The leg lamp has Canadian roots! The original was fabricated by Toronto prop-master Henry Piersig and rigged by special effects guru Martin Malivoire.
4. Several versions of the leg lamp were made for use on-set. Despite what has been reported elsewhere, at least one did survive the shoot and sat for years in the window of Martin Malivoire’s special effects shop in Toronto. It became dirty and dusty over the years, so he disposed of the forlorn lamp in the early 1990s, just a few years before A Christmas Story leg lamps became “a thing.”
5. Memorabilia company NECA was the first to license and mass produce A Christmas Story leg lamps as a novelty, starting in 2003. They were inspired by reports from around the country of people making their own leg lamp to display at Christmas time. Now leg lamps come in all shapes and sizes, including this nifty leg lamp light string!
6. According to A Christmas Story Treasury, the leg lamp in the movie was created by casting a mould of an actual woman’s leg. “The studio sent over a chubby model,” said effects wiz Martin Malivoire, who helped fabricate the lamp for the movie.
7. Although Jean Shepherd came up with the idea of the leg lamp itself, production designer Reuben Freed created its look. He based the lampshade on the “classic bell shape” of a lamp in his mother’s living room window.
Dying to put a leg lamp in your front window? RetroFestive.ca has lots of leg lamp options, from tall to tiny!