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Lanyard: A Brief History

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The history of the lanyard goes all the way back to the year 1626. At the time, it was originally used in nautical settings, and the word described a section of line or rope that sailors used for securing items aboard a ship or other sailing vessel. Later on, at the end of the late 1800s, the word was applied to cords and rope used by soldiers for holding their small weapons and whistles during battle. Lanyards were typically worn over the soldier's left shoulder, and then the knife would be hidden inside the uniform's breast pocket. However, the cords were switched to the right side around 1920, because it was too difficult to get the knife out of the pocket underneath the soldier's bandolier.

About 1930 the cords began to only be used for decorative purposes, and the different colors and braided designs on the shoulders of military soldier's uniforms would signify his or her status or station, or it would identify the regiment with which a soldier was associated. At this time, several military regiments wore their cords on the left, as was originally done in the 1600s. This allowed infantry riders and soldiers to grab their whistles from their pockets and communicate with the rest of the troops while they were on the move.

Today, lanyards are designed from many different materials, including beads, polyester, cotton, cloth, and nylon. Beads and other items are often threaded on durable line or stainless steel wires. The cords are a popular item because they can be personalized with corporate names, colors, professional logos, and other promotional items. Customized cords to be worn around the neck are affordable, and the can be hot stamped, dyed, braided, and beaded. You can get them in virtually any pattern, style, color, or length.

A lanyard, can hold almost anything you want to keep on hand like identification badges, home or office keys, cell phones, and other things like pens, glasses and bottle openers. Lanyards are most commonly worn around a person's neck, but they are also made to be worn around your wrist, or attached to your purse, backpack, and camping gear. To help maintain security at large events, it's not unusual to see cords printed with custom logos to hold staff ID badges. In this way, the cords and badges become both a means of advertising and networking.

Basic lanyards are used in retail shops and sporting events, because they can hold IDs and passes. They are typically equipped with a clear plastic pouch for holding personal items. When using them as key chains, you can keep track of your car keys at places like the gym.

Lanyards have evolved with modern technology to have a variety of new uses since the days of sailing. However, they are still helping people keep their employee identification badges and other personal items secure. In addition, with the many styles and materials available for making them, people can use them to display their creative flair and personality.

William F. Gabriel gives practical tips on choosing the right lanyards and boojee lanyards.

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