On a normal trumpet, cornet, or flugelhorn, from what I can gather, the first valve lowers the pitch by a step, the second valve lowers the pitch by a half step, and the third valve lowers the pitch by one and a half steps. If there is a fourth valve, it lowers the pitch by two and a half steps (someone correct me if I'm wrong on this).
My question is this:
It doesn't take much to realise that if the first and second valves were switched, everything from first to fourth valve would be in order---half step, whole step, one and a half steps, two and a half steps.
Why were horns not built like that? Why are horns not built so that the first valve lowers it a half step, the second a whole step, etc, all in order?
Is there some definitive reason for the actual way they build them? Or did it just perhaps become 'grandfathered in' and no one changed it (think of the fingering changes (!))?
Thanks for pondering my question.