A friend of my Father's was a mainframe guru, back in the day, and he told us about "cylinder" hard drives that would take several hours to power down because the torsional stress on them would get too high if slowed down too quickly. Also tape drives that were spinning so quickly they could be dangerous.
I remember the time someone thought they'd save money by buying cheap paper for the high speed IBM 6400 line printer. The print head moved so fast it just shredded the paper into a fine dust that caked in every internal part. It sucked cleaning that out.