In 1898 the United States Postal Service's decision to permit private companies to print postcards fueled a national postcard mania. The most popular cards of the era were view cards - images of just about every remarkable sight or event in every region of the country. Clearly, the City of Rochester, New York, wanted to capitalize on one of its most famous and noted "oddities": the aqueduct over the Genesee River. Depicted here on a postcard printed just after the turn of the century, the aqueduct carried the Erie Canal over the Genesee River, which ran through the center of the city. First completed in 1825, the aqueduct and the canal brought tremendous economic growth to Rochester in the 19th century, with mills springing up along the banks of the Genesee River. In 1903 the state approved an expansion of the canal, moving it south of Rochester and abandoning the aqueduct. After the new canal route opened in 1918, city planners turned the aqueduct into a bridge for the combined use of the subway and automobiles. Although used only by cars today, the aqueduct has been preserved by the City of Rochester as an historic landmark.