IBM 3851 storage compartments

IBM 3851 storage compartments

IBM 3851 storage compartments
Vast amounts of information could be stored on data cartridges housed in the honeycomb storage compartments of the IBM 3851 Mass Storage Facility. The versatile device, part of the IBM 3850 Mass Storage System introduced in 1974, contained a control unit that allowed it to locate a needed cartridge and transfer it to a recording device where the information could be sent to magnetic disk drives. Each 3851 had two access devices, one of which is shown here with a data cartridge, that could move horizontally and vertically and could rotate 180 degrees to pick up a cartridge. In a system with two 3851 Mass Storage Facilities, a user could store up to 472 billion characters of online information, equivalent to either 4,720 disk packs or a typical library of approximately 47,200 reels of tape.