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Christmas Gift Guide

Kickin' it old-school with Samsung gear

1911: The year of the washing machine

Maytag's moment

The Walkie-Talkie

Handy-Talkie

I want my MTV

Portable transistor TV

It's a 'mobile' phone, alright

The big chill

Remember these?

Now in technicolor

The PC of your dreams?

Right on!

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

Microwave TV?

Back to the watch

Ready to receive

Party like it's 1999

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.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

...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.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

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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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).

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

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?

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
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