The History of Lanyards (What is a lanyard?)
In Australia, it’s popular to see at trade shows or corporate events lanyards which are handed out like branded pens, custom printed notepads and customised bags for promotional purposes. On a daily bases we associate lanyards with staff ID cards and staff passes which schools, companies or business ask us to wear for security & identification purposes. Or maybe if you are fortunate enough to have had a VIP pass hanging around your neck at a footy matches, Formulae 1 racing, Australian Open, horse racing events like Melbourne Cup, events, or concert festival. Lanyards are an everyday object that most Australian’s don’t even realise we are using and we even miss the fun factor!
1. Why are lanyards called a lanyard? (…what is a lanyard?)
Dated back to the 1400s, the word lanyard was originally from the French word “lanière” which means Strap or thong. The word Lanyard also can be spelled as Laniard.
2. Who invented the first lanyard and what was its first use?
In the last 1500s, French mariners found it challenging to keep their Pistols or weapons when they climbed their ships or when in battle. They invented the laniere to keep pistols, whistles, knifes or weapons at an easy to reach place. Back then, the laniere looked very different from the printed lanyards we wear today and they were normally just plain straps of cord or rope lying around the ship.
3. Brief history of lanyards
In 16th century, lanyards were first used by French soldiers or pirates to easily reach their weapons.
In the 19th century, lanyards were used on Army uniforms. In the British Army Dress Regulation of 1900, lanyard was first mentioned in military text. It states that all Officers of a unit should carry a whistle attached to a silk lanyard the same colour as the coat or jacket except for the Light Infantry which will wear a lanyard of dark green.
After that many militaries started to use lanyards. The armies used different colours of lanyards to separate different troops and teams and to also make sure it’s easy for soldiers to access the important items such as knifes, whistles etc.
After lanyards were widely used in armies and post World War 2, other industries began to use lanyards. We saw that the construction industry adopted lineman lanyards for the safety purposes to prevent falling when construction workers need to work at great heights. Then medical industry started to use lanyards to attach their ID cards for the purpose of preventing loss & identification.
Lanyards were invented and widely used in different industries for the simple concept of easily accessing the important items when needed.
Now days, apart from the initial function, businesses love to use lanyards to promote their companies and brands, as it is so easy and very inexpensive. Big thanks to the French pirate in 1500s, that we now have a very popular advertising tool. Also its look has changed dramatically, from its plain rope appearance to now that includes different colours, materials & custom branding in full colour for companies, government institutions, schools and so on.
Custom Branded Lanyards have become a very useful, fun and unique tool to present, advertise, identify, secure and promote your business.