The game Lost Heir was apparently developed by the game firm McLoughlin Brothers in the late 19th century. Lost Heir was named for a novel published in 1872, "The Lost Heir of Linlithgow." The book was written by Emma D.E.N. Southworth, called the most widely read author of the late 19th century. A bidding and trick-taking game, it is somewhat like the game Pinochle. The game was successful and McLoughlin made several versions over several years. It continued to sell steadily and was subsequently published by Milton Bradley, successors to McLoughlin. The game became popular in Canada-the French version is "L'heritier Perdu"-and was still being manufactured there in 1996.
A copyright date of 1893 and a distinctive Aesthetic design mark this McLoughlin version of Lost Heir.