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A Brief History of Neck Lanyards;
Or,
Before They Were Popular

Lanyards have been around for as long as people needed to tie a piece of string to something and put it around their necks, and have been called lanyards (or at least "lanieres") since about 1100 A.D. As we've seen, we can blame thank the Normans for that.

The rawhide string that Ugg the prehistoric lawman used to tie his shiny stone badge around his neck was an early lanyard. Lanyards were popular from the very start, especially before people invented pockets to put things in. Having something on a string around the neck has always been handy, whether you're talking about a nice gem or a tribal medicine bag. Of course, a lanyard has to be either long enough to keep you from choking yourself when you need to use the item, or easy to detach from the item you need to use.

As we've mentioned, lanyards are especially popular today, mostly because of badges. But there were some people who used them long before they were widely popular. Take PE coaches, for example. Where did they keep those annoying whistles they were always blowing? Lanyards. Same thing with traffic policemen and their whistles: lanyards again. But lest you think that lanyards were inextricably linked with whistles back then, consider other uses for lanyards in the days before uber-security. Some outdoorsmen liked to carry knives around their necks, attached to lanyards, and still do. Some lanyards were used to attach pistols to a user's wrist, especially in situations in which dropping a pistol meant losing it (say, in a swamp or at sea). And for some people, like field archeologists, Boy Scouts, and Army Rangers, lanyards are invaluable for toting around orienteering compasses. Having your compass close at hand can mean the difference between finding your way back to camp and spending a cold night out in the woods.

Finally, let's not forget those other important lanyards: the beaded lanyards that we all made while we were at camp. You remember those: rawhide straps, sometimes braided, strung with colorful plastic beads and used for everything from keychains to eyeglass holders. Sure, we all knew the camp counselors had us make them just to keep us quiet for a while, the same reason we had to make those silly leather wallets. But hey, those beaded lanyards we made are a fondly remembered part of Americana, and have made a contribution to society in their own way, right? They've even made the occasional comeback, as "boondoggle" keychains and the like.

 

On to part five :: Today's Lanyards: More Than Mere Whistle Holders :: Back to Index

 

 

News n' Info


Where the heck did the term "lanyard" come from, and what exactly defines a lanyard, anyway?

 

Feature Articles

Badge Lanyards- A Convenient Way to Display Your ID
Badge lanyards are very commonplace and there are a wide variety of neck lanyards and other designs available.

Beaded Lanyards: Dress For Work In Style
Beaded lanyards are only one of the many designs you can get in a when you need a lanyard to hold your ID. Our beaded lanyard patterns showcase many textures, styles and colors.

 

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