Our wood construction traditions came from England. Where English carpenters were right at home building houses framed with studs set at about 16-inches on center for walls with wood lath and plaster.
The lath was made from riven slats, deftly pealed with a hand ax off logs about 32-inches long. This was the length a man could reliably cleave a flat ribbon of lath with a single blow. Because applying plaster over 32-inch slats of lath nailed only at the ends proved springy and unstable, carpenters added a center stud to stiffen the lath. Hence, studs were set a 16-inches on center.
Unless you’re finishing your walls with plaster over wood lath, there’s no point to framing with a 16-inches module, try 19.5, 24, or any other permitted spacing.
My source: Advance Residential Engineering Services