Until 1910 all the postage stamps of Chile portrayed Christopher Columbus. The stamps are inscribed "Colon," the Spanish rendering of his name. The first issues, featuring a bust of Columbus on an engine turned background, were produced by Perkins Bacon in 1853 and issued on July 1 of that year. Some of the plates were transferred to Santiago the next year, and local prints were made, along with London prints, through 1865. In 1867, 1877, 1900, and 1905 new definitives depicting Columbus were issued.
Chile's stamp-issuing policies have always been conservative. Its first pictorial stamps were issued in 1910 to celebrate the centenary of Chile's independence. Not until 1923, 1930, and then 1938 were the stamps anything other than the busts of prominent Chilean ancestors and, of course, Columbus.