In 1885, based on research of Hermann Sprengel, Turpin patented the use of pressed and cast picric acid in blasting charges and artillery shells. In 1887 the French government adopted it under the name melinite, with addition of gun cotton. Since 1888, Britain started manufacturing a very similar mixture in Lydd, Kent, under the name lyddite. Japan followed with an improved formula known as schimose.
In 1897, Turpin sued Jules Verne for basing Thomas Roch from the Facing the Flag novel on him and the Melinite explosive. Verne, defended by Raymond Poincaré, was found innocent; his letter to his brother Paul however confirms the character was indeed based on Turpin.
- Jules Verne FAQ (English) at jv.gilead.org.il