I make one of a kind beaded lanyards. It all started because, as you know, I am a nurse and we all , every hospital employee, has to wear identification. I started to make the lanyards for myself and a few co-workers. It blossomed from there. So I've been looking around and finding some information about its origin. I try to make unique styles that fit different people's special character. You can find a small variety on my website. http://www.debsdesigns401.etsy.com.
I will take special orders, for color, size and theme.
Here is a small article about the origin of lanyards.
In the military lanyards were originally used to connect a pistol, sword or whistle (for signalling) to a uniform on a semi-permanent basis. Lanyards were used in situations where there was a good chance of otherwise losing the object - commonly by cavalry and naval officers at sea. A well made pistol lanyard can be easily removed and reattached by the user, but otherwise will stay connected to the pistol whether it is drawn or in a holster. Lanyards later became more decorative.
So, today's lanyards, not so much used for a pistol and holster, are used for embellishment and style. They becoming a lot more popular, and used by many in many professions, including nurses, teachers and anyone that needs to show constant identification.