A prop, formally known as (theatrical) property, is an object used on stage or on screen by actors during a performance or screen production. The earliest known use of the term "properties" in English to refer to stage accessories is in the 1425 CE Morality play, The Castle of Perseverance
. The Oxford English Dictionary finds the first usage of "props" in 1841, while the singular form of "prop" appeared in 1911. During the Renaissance in Europe, small acting troupes functioned as cooperatives, pooling resources and dividing any income. Many performers provided their own costumes, but special items—stage weapons, furniture or other hand-held devices—were considered "company property"; hence the term "property." Some experts, however, seem to think that the term comes from the idea that stage or screen objects "belong" to whoever uses them on stage. — wiki
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