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Think you know Samsung's first smartwatch and laptop? You don't (pictures)

Housed in Samsung's sprawling South Korean headquarters are startling reminders of our gadget past. Check out old-school marvels like its first-ever smartwatch and a laptop with a music player.

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Jessica Dolcourt
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1 of 18 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Kickin' it old-school with Samsung gear

Think that Samsung's first smartwatch arrived in 2013? Think again. Fourteen years before the Galaxy Gear, Samsung's SPH-WP10 Watch Phone came out in 1999 under the sub-brand Anycall.

The Samsung Innovation Museum in Suwon, South Korea is filled with such decades-spanning marvels.

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2 of 18 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

1911: The year of the washing machine

All it takes is an armload of hand-wash laundry to appreciate the liberating qualities of an appliance as pervasive as the washing machine.

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3 of 18 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Maytag's moment

In 1911, the Maytag Electric Motor Washing Machine must have seemed quite the advancement, though it looks positively manual to modern eyes.

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4 of 18 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

The Walkie-Talkie

When it came out in 1943, Motorola's Walkie-Talkie SCR-300 was less about the workplace than it was about the war effort. The US Army commissioned this mammoth two-way radio to use during the Second World War.

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5 of 18 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Handy-Talkie

Made by Motorola in 1940, the Handy-Talkie SCR-536 (right) was a portable AM radio transceiver light enough to fit in your hand. It, too, was used widely in the Second World War.

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6 of 18 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

I want my MTV

1927 may have been the birth of the television set, but this Motorola TV set from 1950 is a direct channel down memory lane. Using vacuum tubes to control current, the TV's two front-side buttons control contrast and brightness as well as volume and changing stations.

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7 of 18 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Portable transistor TV

Less bulky and more power-efficient than the vacuum tube television, transistor TVs like this 1960 specimen from Sony didn't need to warm up before you tuned in.

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8 of 18 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

It's a 'mobile' phone, alright

Would you pay $3,500 for this briefcase phone? That's the price tag for this IMTS-enabled (Improved Mobile Telephone Service) doozy from the 1960s.

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9 of 18 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

The big chill

Samsung is a huge maker of home appliances today, but it got its start with refrigerators in 1974 with this unit, which included auto-defrosting.

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10 of 18 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Remember these?

Samsung's first phone with electronic keys made its debut in 1984.

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11 of 18 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Now in technicolor

Korea's first color TV arrived in 1977. The Samsung Econo Color TV had a CRT screen and became a major export item in the '80s.

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12 of 18 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

The PC of your dreams?

Can a personal computer get any better than this gem from the 1980s?

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13 of 18 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Right on!

Probably not. For starters, this rig uses an integrated cassette player as its data drive.

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14 of 18 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

It's a bird...it's a plane...

...it's a laptop. Yes, a laptop. Never mind that 1987's dimensions would overflow your lap and crush your limbs, Samsung's first portable effort (a first for Korea, too) was the precursor of more refined personal electronics to come.

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15 of 18 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Microwave TV?

What's better than watching kernels of corn pop? Watching TV while standing in front of a device spewing electromagnetic radiation! In 1983, this microwave oven also served the morning news on a 5-inch screen.

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16 of 18 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Back to the watch

The 1999 Watch Phone is lighter than you might think. At 1.4 ounces (or 39 grams), it's nearly an ounce lighter than the Samsung Gear S watch, which weighs 2.3 ounces (66 grams).

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17 of 18 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Ready to receive

You can easily see that nub of antenna on top, a telltale sign that this is a watch-shaped-phone...or maybe it's a phone-shaped watch?

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18 of 18 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Party like it's 1999

On the left, Samsung's most recent smartwatch, the Samsung Gear S, snuggles up close to the company's first design.

Hungry for even more behind-the-scenes looks at Samsung's headquarters? Check out more stories here.

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