Crafted from metal or composite materials, the endpin (also called a spike) is a long stick with one pointed end. It is attached to the underside of the cello and supports it as it rests against the player. Pins became commonplace in the early 19th century; prior to that, the cello was held between the knees like larger gambas. Modern pins are inserted into the body of the cello through the lower block and are held at the proper length with a thumb screw. One noteworthy option is a bent endpin which is attached or held in place with a holder and can be retracted into the cello. A bent endpin allows the cellist to hold the cello at a flatter angle, and it secures the spike more securely on harder flooring.