Looking back at November 29, 1950
The Wollongong gasworks was being blamed by nearby residents for creating fumes that were turning their houses blue.
Gipps Street residents also complained that the same blue hue was appearing in their bathtubs and even on their silverware.
"Homeowners in the district said their silverware goes blue immediately after it is cleaned," the Mercury reported. "Baths and chromium-plated objects also take on this blue-grey colour."
Residents had repainted their houses but they soon showed that same blue colour again. Repeated efforts to hose their houses down with water did not do much to fix the discolouration.
The fumes had a "rotten egg" smell that was so bad at times the children could not sleep, residents said.
The residents felt the culprit was "sulphuretted hydrogen" coming from the gasworks at the western end of Smith Street.
Tests from the Department of Health showed that the hydrogen was reacting with the lead paint on the houses to create the discolouration.