What a Thunderbird is
When I hear the word "Thunderbird", I usually think of the car. Or, since I live in the Phoenix area, I may think of Thunderbird Road. And I really didn't give much thought to the ancient Indian symbol of a Thunderbird until I started collecting old photos of Phoenix.
Support Arizona history by becoming a patron on Patreon
Click here to become a Patron!
A Thunderbird is traditionally drawn with very squared-off wings, in a geometric shape. If you want to see the shape of a Thunderbird, just fly over 59th Avenue and Greenway, and look down at the Thunderbird School of International Management, in Glendale. Actually, if you could arrange to see it right after it was built, as Thunderbird Field, just before World War II, it shows much clearer. They've added a lot of new buildings nowadays, but you can still kinda see it. That's it at the top of this post in the 1940s. You are flying over it, looking northwest.
By the way, don't confuse a Thunderbird with a Phoenix Bird. A Phoenix Bird is an ancient Greek symbol, a Thunderbird is Indian. I like them both, and I'm always on the lookout for more!
Posted by Brad Hall