Sigwalt Chicago No. 16?

HI all,

Can anyone help identify the press in the attached photos? Based on the curve of the back, the painted detail, the single roller with hook, and the side lever, it appears to be a Sigwalt Chicago No. 16….but I’m hardly an expert.

I’ve never seen such a press in this area. Too be sure, it is cute, but such a small form…sorry the photos don’t provide relative scale well (although the chair spindle in the one should provide some context).


image: SmallPress1.jpg


image: SmallPress2.jpg


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Upon further comparison of the (scarce) photos of the No. 16 and this press, while there appear to be lots of similarities, there are also some differences (e.g. contours of the footprint, angle of the arm to advance the ink disk). So, unless there were different castings over the years, perhaps this isn’t a Sigwalt.

While I haven’t seen the press in person, the owner didn’t see any identifying marks (other than a reference to 6x9, which is confusing…perhaps a scale salesman’s model?)


My understanding is that the Chicago was a front lever press on a similar principle to the Kelsey. The Sigwalt Ideal model was a square- or H-based version of the Nonpareil, which had a round base. Because the Sigwalt company went through several changes of ownership after John Sigwalt died, it’s possible that some design changes were made. It’s also likely that the design was different for different size presses, so that the differences you’re seeing are due more to that than to a different maker.



Do you know the inside dimensions of the chase? There were both a Chicago #15 and #16 and the main difference is the size of the chase.


@platenpress: I’ll see if I can get them. I’d guess something like 2”x3”.

@AdLibPress: One of the photos that led me to think it was a Chicago No. 16 was here on BP:

But, yes, I suppose there may have been tweaks over the years based on who owned the rights and actually created the presses.


Comparing your photo with the actual press, this is a #15. It was introduced around 1910 along with the Sigwalt’s #9, #10, and #11. These last 3 were the big sellers and manufactured for many years. I doubt if the #15 and #16 were made for more than a couple of years. Chase size #15 - 1 1/2 x 2 1/2 and the #16 - 1 7/8 x 2 7/8. These are fairly rare presses.

I never did get the chase dimensions of the press (presumably once I told the seller I wasn’t interested in the press, that means it wasn’t worth their time). I did pass on the information I learned here to them, so hopefully they can better educate the next potential buyer.

In case anyone wants the (SW Ontario-based) ad listing/URL, email me. The asking price was just more than $400 if I recall correctly.