Circa 1927 GERM-ELIM Advertising Token, Belleville, IL, High Grade, Very Scarce

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  • Circa 1927 GERM-ELIM Advertising Token, Belleville, IL, High Grade, Very Scarce
  • Circa 1927 GERM-ELIM Advertising Token, Belleville, IL, High Grade, Very Scarce
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Circa 1927 GERM-ELIM Advertising Token, Belleville, IL, High Grade, Very Scarce

Germ-Elim Remedies was a company located in Belleville, Illinois from the 1920s through the 1940s. The company owner, J. Edward Yoch, also operated a relatively large auto top company in Belleville in the 1920s. Yost's Germ-Elim Remedies was headquartered in the space adjacent to the auto top company, where they manufactured and sold a line of antiseptics, the main one being Germ-Elim.

The advertising token offered here shares the obverse design of another token struck for J. Edward Yoch: the Creotina Remedies issue. Creotina Chemical Company produced an oil-based "remedy for aches and pains" called Creotina. The company was incorporated in St. Louis in 1918 by Franklin R. Jackes. Yost purchased Creotina Chemical from Jackes in the late 1920s and relocated the business to his Germ-Elim facility in Belleville, Illinois. Both Creotina and Germ-Elim have been classified by some as "quack medicine," or "kook science," while others have described the companies as "snake oil manufacturers."

It was about this time (circa 1927) that Yost commissioned two types of advertising tokens: one for Creotina and one for Germ-Elim, the latter being the rarest of the two variants by a ratio of approximately 10 to 1. Perhaps Mr. Yost was anxious to promote his newly acquired company, Creotina Remedies, and thought to make a smaller number of tokens for his already established company, Germ-Elim Remedies, while engaged with the token manufacturer.

Both types share an unusual obverse design. One could surmise that Mr. Yost was a devout Catholic due to the obverse wording of "DEATH JUDGEMENT HEAVEN HELL," which is considered the "four last things" in the Catholic faith. Within the vertical and horizontals of the cross are "REMEMBER / SIN NOT." One small symbol each of a devil, an angel, an hourglass, and a set of scales is found in each quadrant. Suffice to say that Yost's token design was a far departure from the more typical good luck "four-leaf clover and horse shoe" advertising tokens of that era. More like fire and brimstone!

The reverse periphery reads, "WORTH MORE THAN GOLD / GERM-ELIM CO., BELLEVILLE, Ill," with the central legend of "GERM-ELIM / MONEY BACK GUARANTEE / REMEDIES / WRITE." The date of 1927 is found encircling a small copywrite symbol, along with Yost's initials, "J.E.Y."

The example offered here is by far the finest of the few Germ-Elim tokens we were able to trace, and as good or better than any of the more common Creotina types in high grade. The surfaces are exceptionally well preserved for a nearly 100-year-old token, especially considering the instability of brass.

Most brass tokens of this era suffer from myriad surface problems, and pristine survivors are legitimately scarce, if not rare. Advertising tokens were meant to be used, touched, passed around and even worn as jewelry. In fact, all known examples of both the Creotina and Germ-Elim tokens were specifically holed for suspension at the time of manufacture. The surfaces are highly reflective and free of hairlines or corrosion spots. It is essentially "as issued" and has the appearance of a gilt piece.

The diameter is approximately 32 mm, with a weight of 10.46 grams. Listed in the online Token Catalog as TC-367724.

FREE shipping and insurance, plus FREE 30 day returns. No questions asked and we pay for return shipping.

You will receive the exact coin shown in the photos.

Shipped with USPS First Class Mail with tracking.
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