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In 1938, Lee Byung-chull (1910–1987) of a large landowning family in the Uiryeong county moved to nearby Daegu city and founded Samsung Sanghoe . Samsung started out as a small trading company with forty employees located in Su-dong (now Ingyo-dong). It dealt in dried-fish, locally-grown groceries and made noodles. The company prospered and Lee moved its head office to Seoul in 1947. When the Korean War broke out, he was forced to leave Seoul. He started a sugar refinery in Busan named Cheil Jedang. In 1954, Lee founded Cheil Mojik and built the plant in Chimsan-dong, Daegu. It was the largest woollen mill ever in the country.
In the late 1960s, Samsung Group entered the electronics industry. It formed several electronics-related divisions, such as Samsung Electronics Devices, Samsung Electro-Mechanics, Samsung Corning and Samsung Semiconductor & Telecommunications, and made the facility in Suwon. Its first product was a black-and-white television set.