During the late 1860s and 1870s, women’s skirts featured not only a bustle, but a train… meaning the skirt was longer in the back than in the front. To keep this extra fabric up and out of the way while dancing, or when walking in the dirty streets, women used skirt lifters like this one. The fabric in the back was clamped into the skirt lifter which was then attached to the waist by a ribbon, or cord. They were made of a variety of different metals. This skirt lifter is patent dated Sept. 21, 1870 and measures 6 inches in length.