Maryland, My Maryland
Miss Maycliffe's car was a rarity even when this picture was taken. It is a 1908 Maryland Roadster as manufactured by the Sinclair-Scott Company of Baltimore, a company far better known for their apple peelers and food canning machines. The Maryland started out in 1905 as the Ariel, made by the Ariel Motor Car Company of Boston (not connected with the Ariel Motor Company in England or its New York partner The Ariel Company).
Ariel's first offerings were shown at the March 1905 Boston Auto Show and consisted of a 15hp three-cylinder air-cooled runabout with a standard grille, and a 25hp four-cylinder water-cooled, 5-passenger, wood bodied (available in blue or green) light touring with an oval radiator made by Whitlock.
Both were designed by Ralph C. Lewis and both sets of cylinders were interchangeable on a common crankcase. The original idea behind the interchangeability was that in winter the air-cooled upper would be used, and in summer the water-cooled equipment would be swapped onto the common crankcase—an idea quickly dropped.
They used as their mottoes "The Synonym of Light Weight, Speed and Power" and "Is As Fast On Hills As Most Cars Are On The Level." Later they changed it to "The Car With The Oval Front" then finally to "Look For The Oval Front."
Also early in 1906 Ariel redesigned the cast aluminum dash for the Roadster, giving it a scallop shape.
Sinclair-Scott had ventured into the manufacture of car parts a few years earlier and Ariel became one of their customers—in fact Sinclair-Scott was soon not only producing most of the car, but assembling it as well. There were few sales of the $2,500 tonneau however, and Ariel was unable to make good on their debts. Sinclair-Scott acquired the rights to the vehicle in 1907 (Ariel Motor Car Company was officially dissolved that same year), gave it a bit of a face lift—the oval radiator was given a sleeker redesign—and renamed it the Maryland Car.
They next added a 6-passenger limousine and a 2, 3, or 4-passenger roadster (later just available as a 3-seater) to the lineup while retaining the dash and Briscoe oval radiator on all three models. The Briscoe Mfg. Co. badge can be seen at the top of Miss Maycliffe's radiator.
Sinclair-Scott also carried on the Ariel tradition of equipping each vehicle with a tool box, a Nonpareil brand horn (used by 2/3 of American automobile manufacturers) and a full set of Atwood lamps (2 oil side lamps and 2 acetylene head lamps).
The new models were a vast sales improvement over the Ariels—albeit still fairly low volume when compared to the best-sellers of the day—and for 1908 the only changes made were some body refinements and to the finish. Given the low production, it is possible that the roadster Miss Maycliffe purchased was the very one used for the promotional photographs appearing in national magazines (above).
Even with the increased volume, the vehicles were never profitable enough for Sinclair-Scott and in 1910 they discontinued the Maryland Car line. In the August 1912 issue of Automobile Dealer and Repairer, a reader requesting advice complained of cylinder misfiring in his 1908 Maryland Touring. The decidedly unhelpful reply began with "A Maryland car of 1908 is today practically obsolete and forgotten." So rare and forgotten is the Maryland, that I am unaware of any Ariels or Marylands in existence today—which would make them both extinct cars. In fact, the Library of Congress picture seems to be the only one in existence outside of period magazines. There is an index notation that Bulb Horn magazine published a photograph of a 1910 Maryland in Volume XXVIII (1967), Issue Number 2, but I cannot find a copy. If you have one please let me know. Note: This entry will be updated to show picture attributes and a link will be provided to an article on the life of Ruth Maycliffe.