History of the leg lamp from “A Christmas Story”

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Len Rome's Daily Feature of Little Known Facts

(WYTV)- With the popularity of the movie A Christmas Story from 1983, comes one of its most recognizable props: the leg lamp, otherwise known as “A Major Award.”

The Christmas Story House and Museum tells us that the movie’s production designer, Reuben Freed, had no idea what a leg lamp looked like, but he thought it should resemble be something like a lamp from his mother’s living room: a gold colored silk lampshade, pleated with fringe around it.” Kind of ugly.

Freed produced three leg lamps for the movie, but none of survived the production. All three were broken during filming.

Much of A Christmas Story was filmed in Cleveland and in 2013, to celebrate the movie’s 30th anniversary, Terminal Tower in Cleveland’s Public Square was turned into a giant leg lamp, complete with a red garter.

You can see Terminal Tower, the plain version, in A Christmas Story’s first few opening shots, high over Higbee’s department store, where Ralphie sees the Red Ryder BB gun.

The leg lamp has become so popular, you can now buy ready-made Halloween costumes in its likeness.
In 2012, A Christmas Story: The Musical opened on Broadway and the chorus kicked up not only their own legs, but also fishnet-clad leg lamps.

That same year, 2012, Amazon boasted that if you stacked every Christmas Story Leg Lamp customers bought on Amazon, they would the top of Mt. Everest.

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