This was true even with IBM's relay powered plugboard wired unit record equipment (with which I worked in high school -- I'm a sucker for last chances on dinosaurs).
The guy who ran the facility says "don't do this when IBM's around, but...", then opens up the back, pulls out a relay and the machine magically starts running twice as fast. He said the only drawback was that the motor used couldn't handle the higher speed for long periods, so you had to be judicious about when you did it.
IBM 402 Accounting Machine, for those who share my love of obsolete machinery. Big as a VW beetle and probably weighed twice as much. When "big iron" really was.