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What is the meaning of "Herrmans" here? I checked various editions of book but this word was repeated in all of them, although i think it is not correct and it must be "humans". What do you think?

"No, my belief in Spiritualism has undergone no change. When I made those dreadful statements I was not responsible for my words. Its genuineness is an incontrovertible fact. Not all the Herrmans that ever breathed can duplicate the wonders that are produced through some mediums. By deftness of fingers and smartness of wits they may produce writing on papers and slates, but even this cannot bear close investigation. Materialization is beyond their mental calibre to reproduce, and I challenge anyone to make the 'rap' under the same conditions which I will. There is not a human being on earth can produce the 'raps' in the same way as they are through me."

Source - http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks03/0301051h.html

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The fact that 'Hermanns' is capitalised tells you that it is a proper noun (a name). 'All the Herrmans that ever breathed (lived)' means 'Herrman, and all of the people like him or her (in some relevant way) that have ever lived'. Herrman would be someone that the writer expects the reader to have heard of. 'All the Lady Gagas' would be understood to mean 'Lady Gaga, and all singers of that type'. So we go to Google and start typing... Herrman - what else? spiritualism is a relevant term. We thus are led to

Alexander Herrmann (February 10, 1844 – December 17, 1896) [who] was a French magician, better known as Herrmann the Great.

Alexander Herrman (Wikipedia)

The dates show he was famous when the book was written. Thus we may conclude that 'All the Herrmans that ever breathed' is a way of saying 'all the stage magicians that [have] ever lived'.

Hermann would have been relevant to the subject matter of the book, because, as James K points out, Herrmann and his wife put on a show wherein they revealed how the spiritualist Ann O'Delia Diss Debar was a fraudulent medium in front of journalists.

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    Indeed, his wife was also a magician, and "In 1888, the Herrmanns put on a show wherein they revealed how the spiritualist Ann O'Delia Diss Debar was a fraudulent medium in front of journalists."
    – James K
    Mar 29, 2020 at 11:41
  • @Michael Harvey awesome.
    – solesoul
    Mar 29, 2020 at 11:44

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