The publishing house Franklin Watts Inc. was formed in 1942 and sold to Grolier in 1957. Franklin Watts, the namesake founder, retired in 1967. In 1969, he moved to London to start Franklin Watts Ltd. Watts retired again in 1976.
Grolier was acquired by the French company Hachette in 1988, which then acquired Children's Press in 1996. Many of Franklin Watts titles were then published under the Children's Press imprint. Grolier was sold to Scholastic in 2000, along with the US rights to Children's Press, Franklin Watts, and Orchard Books, though the UK branch exists today as an imprint of Hachette Children's Books.
Today, Franklin Watts is well-known for its high-quality and attractive project and reader development books, which support the curriculum in all subjects and at all ages. With something for everyone – from top-quality non-fiction, geared towards classroom projects and homework help, to excellent reading books, Watts aims to give children of all abilities a lifelong love of learning and books.
First editions from Franklin Watts are not easily identified; they may have the words “First Edition” or “First Published (month, year)” on the copyright page or the same date appearing on the title page as the copyright page with no additional printings listed along with a sequence of numbers with “1” present.