Stocks are devices that were used internationally, in medieval, Renaissance and colonial The stocks are similar to the pillory and the pranger, as each consists of large, hinged, wooden boards; the difference, however, In United States v. Form and application · Historical uses · Modern usage · Stocks in popular culture. What they are, their history, and how they were used. Many different types of stocks and pillories are featured. The pillory was a device made of a wooden or metal framework erected on a post, with holes for securing the head and hands, formerly used for punishment by public humiliation and often further physical abuse. The pillory is related to the stocks.