So let's say it's 1947, you're the War Assets Administration, and you've got 30,000 pounds of spare metallic sodium from WWII on your hands. It's too dangerous to transport -- anyone who has taken high school Chemistry knows what happens if this stuff gets wet -- so no commercial railway or trucking company will agree to transport it. So you decide to toss it into the fish-free, frozen-over Lake Lenore and film the results. "A once-lethal war chemical becomes a peacetime pyrotechnic display!" Indeed.
The first drum holds 3,500 pounds of sodium. Boom!
You can watch the full news reel (with five other stories) at Archive.org. (The sodium bit starts around 2:33, and the video quality is slightly better than YouTube.)