The leg lamp is an actual illuminated device that is shaped like a woman's leg in fishnet stocking and high heel. It first materialized in the 1983 film, A Christmas Story, but its creation came a few decades prior.
In Jean Shepherd's 1966 book, "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash," he included a story called "My Old Man and the Lascivious Special Award That Heralded the Birth of Pop Art." This was the first mention of the leg lamp.
Shepherd was inspired by an advertising logo by Nehi that featured a woman's legs with stockings up to the knee. In his story, it was a contest from Nehi that awarded his father with the leg lamp.
A Christmas Story
The leg lamp is best known for its appearance in A Christmas Story when the "Old Man" takes it out of the "FRA-GI-LE" marked wooden crate and places it in front of the living room window.
Somehow unaware of the film, a businessman named Joe Egeberg created a leg lamp as a gag gift in the mid-eighties. Once he became aware of the Christmas Story connection, he went into mass production and has been selling leg lamps full time ever since.
Since the late 80s, reproductions of the leg lamp seen in A Christmas Story have been sold as popular Christmas gifts. There are life-size leg lamps as well as desk lamps.