“FRAGILE (FRA-GEE-LEE) it must be Italian!”
“What is it?”
“It’s a Major Award!”
“It’s A lamp! It’s indescribably beautiful!”… The soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window.”
A Christmas Story is played non-stop on networks throughout the holidays. And not only has the movie become a Christmastime institution, but the leg lamp itself, has had a huge impact on Sugar House’s The Lamp Company.
Bill Hadfield had seen the movie, but he didn’t want electric sex gleaming in his window so for years he ignored and brushed off his son’s pleas to sell leg lamps at his shop.
“If you can find a leg we will do a leg lamp, thinking in my mind, he can’t find a leg.”
Hadfield said, “It didn’t take in more than two hours.” His son Aaron found a mannequin at a second-hand store and chopped its leg off. The next challenge was the stocking, it’s not just any stocking. It took some searching, but by the end of the day it was in the window.
“Since I didn’t want to start manufacturing these, we put a ridiculous price on it, this was 24 years ago and we priced it at $350. The first woman who came into the store said, ‘I want to buy that!.’ I said it’s “$350”. she said, “Alright, if you deliver.”
Bill’s son then used the other leg to make a second lamp, and the next thing Bill knew was he was in the leg lamp business. He now buys legs from a local distributor and his process for making the lamps is much more streamlined. Over the years, “I’ve sold hundreds of leg lamps, and during Christmas they are my top seller. I’m not proud of that. I don’t have one at my house.” Bill says.
At its height The Lamp Company sold 40 leg lamps. “But that was pre-internet, Now we sell maybe six or eight.”
The leg lamp is now on display in the window of Bill’s store. “One year I didn’t put it out, it wasn’t three or four days ’till I got a call saying, ‘hey where is the leg lamp?’ It goes out the day after Thanksgiving or there is a firestorm of calls.”
The Lamp Company has been in business for nearly 40 years. Their primary business is custom lighting installations and lamp repair. They are located at 1443 South 700 East.