1) An iron hook or staple used to secure or support part of a structure.

References date from 1576 and it is likely that the shape and function differed, depending on when and where the word occurred. Some were ā€˜Uā€™ shaped but in at least one case the item resembled an ā€˜Sā€™ and was attached to a wall. There are references to its use in a Beeston coal-mine: 1755 two hold fasts 6d

hold fasts for the pipes 4s 4d.

places Beeston
sources Denison papers
dates 1755

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Photo by Kreuzschnabel CC BY-SA 3.0