Hundreds of years ago only the elite could read and write. If you were a poor laborer or traveler and wanted a bed for the night or a road house meal , you had to rely on an illustrated sign. So if you were told that you could find lodging at "The Blue Bird Inn," that sign is what you would look to find. Tucson's Kingfisher restaurant has a modern lighted sign but it also displays this kingfisher plaque outside. Charming!
I'm a transplanted New Yorker who loves the Tucson climate. On New Year's Day I have a bit of fun calling my (snowbound) east coast friends to announce that I'm drinking coffee while sitting on my patio. (: